Washington benches Dwayne Haskins in favor of Taylor Heinicke

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JP Finlay
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Washington benches Dwayne Haskins in favor of Taylor Heinicke originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

After a terrible start to a must-win Week 16 matchup against Carolina, Washington benched quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

With Haskins on the bench Washington turned to Taylor Heinicke at quarterback. 

An undrafted free agent that signed with the Vikings in 2015, Heinicke set numerous records in college at Old Dominion. More importantly, he’s worked with Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner in multiple stops and started a game for the Panthers in 2018 while Ron Rivera was coach. 

Haskins opened the 2020 season as Washington’s starter but was demoted to third-string after four games. He got again elevated to the starter role last week after an injury to Alex Smith.

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In the hours after last Sunday's loss to Seattle, Haskins attended a party with his girlfriend. Salacious photos emerged on social media from the party showing the quarterback without a mask, and later in the week, Haskins was fined $40,000 and stripped of his captaincy. 

There was some speculation if Haskins would be released or suspended, but Washington coach Ron Rivera thought the fine and punishment proved his point. 

Prior to his removal, Haskins was 14 of 28 for 154 yards with two interceptions and a fumble lost.

Last week, Rivera called Heinicke a “sharp dude” and the coach said he would not be concerned to put him in the game. 

Expect much more on this developing story.