Dwayne Haskins on his way to start Washington’s Week 16 game against the Panthers, per report

NFL Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns
Getty Images

It looks like the Washington Football Team will start second year quarterback Dwayne Haskins for the second game in a row when they face the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. On thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Washington’s feeling is that it would be “challenging” for Alex Smith to return from his calf injury this week, although he was a limited participant in training on Wednesday. Haskins is supposed to make the first reps in practice on Thursday, and is on track to start in week 16.

Smith injured his calf during the first half of Washington’s Week 14 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, and also made him miss Washington’s Week 15 match against the Seattle Seahawks. In the 20-15 defeat, Haskins completed 38 of 55 passes for 295 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He got off to a slow start, however, as the attack recorded only 33 yards of total attack in the first quarter, while Haskins completed just 5 of 8 passes for eight yards. There were good and bad times for his performance, but it was what happened after the game that cast doubt on his role in Washington in the future.

Earlier this week, Haskins was seen in an exotic club without a mask, which was a clear violation of the COVID-19 protocols. Haskins apologized to his teammates for his mistake and was fined and stripped of his title as captain. That is according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, who said on Wednesday that although Haskins was initially elected captain by comrades on the training ground, Washington removed that honor as “part of the internal punishment” for this week’s violations. Haskins’s fine is $ 40,000, by Rapoport, the biggest financial punishment known for a breach of COVID-19 and about half of its standard salary. It is not known how this situation affected Washington internally, as the club continues to fight for its first post-season appearance since 2015. In six games this season, Haskins completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 1,285 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions.