Two NFL quarterbacks won’t be behind center on Sunday, but for different reasons. Washington’s Dwayne Haskins was benched and the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold is hurt. News of both quarterback’s fate was announced by their respective head coaches on Wednesday.
Haskins, who was +550 to be the first NFL quarterback benched at BetOnline, struggled in his last two games, and Washington’s new head coach Ron Rivera put him on notice. Rivera told reporters on Wednesday he believes the team, which is 1-3, has a chance to win the NFC East, and is more likely to accomplish that by replacing Haskins with Kyle Allen.
“We’re in a situation where if we’re still trying to teach one guy and the other 52 aren’t given an opportunity to see if we can win, then that’s not fair,” Rivera said. “If someone [in the division] was 4-0 or 3-1, OK. But there’s a chance to win the division. You have to look at it that way.”
Rivera Avoids NFL QB Controversy
Rivera had been supportive of Haskins, but it was obvious after the team’s 31-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens that he was pondering a change.
“I thought Dwayne had his moments,” Rivera said on Sunday. “There are still some things that, again, we’re still working through and we’re still developing and learning. There are some things that, obviously, I know he’s going to wish he had back once we get a chance to really break the tape down and look at it. He made some plays and he missed some plays. We’ll talk about situational awareness. We’ll talk about certain things that he’s got to continue to grow on and that he has to do. This is all a growing and learning process for him.”
Three days later, Rivera made up his mind, benching Haskins in favor of Allen. Washington hosts the Los Angeles Rams and is a 7.5-point underdog. Rivera is familiar with Allen, as he was Cam Newton’s back up when Rivera coached Carolina.
“Some may not agree with me, that’s fine,” Rivera said. “But for me and this team, I’m taking my shot. I’m here to win, and now we have an opportunity to find out if we can win. I could be wrong; I could be right. We’ll see what happens.”
Darnold Out with Shoulder Injury
Another NFL quarterback on a struggling team who won’t be playing this Sunday is New York Jets signal-caller Sam Darnold. Darnold isn’t out of action for his play, however — he’s suffering with a shoulder injury.
Jets head coach Adam Gase told reporters on Wednesday he’s starting Joe Flacco in Darnold’s place.
“He’s in a lot of pain,” Gase said of Darnold. “That’s what it is. He can raise his arm to a certain degree, but to go out and practice, it would be very difficult for him right now.”
The winless Jets are seven-point underdogs going into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium.