The Washington Redskins drafted Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins in the 2019 NFL Draft, but they expected Haskins would learn the ropes while veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy competed for the starting quarterback job. However, all signs point toward Case Keenum as the Week 1 starter because McCoy is not ready to return to action after recovering from a broken leg last season.
McCoy required three different surgeries to repair his damaged leg. McCoy broke his leg last December after he got called into action when starting QB Alex Smith fractured his leg.
The Redskins started out 6-3 in 2018 and jumped out to a formidable lead in the NFC East. In Week 11, Alex Smith broke his leg against the Houston Texans. Washington’s season spiraled into a total disaster. Just when you didn’t think things could get worse, backup Colt McCoy broke his leg two weeks later. The Skins finished the season 1-6 with their sole win against Jacksonville.
Things got so desperate in Washington that they relied upon Mark Sanchez to help them out. When that didn’t work out, the Skins signed Josh Jonson, a QB that had not played in several season.
2019: Case vs. Colt
Washington head coach Jay Gruden expected two veterans would be fighting for the starting QB job. He didn’t expect that Colt McCoy would not be ready to play with a few weeks remaining in the preseason.
McCoy had yet to practice with the team. His recovery from surgery and a fractured leg has taken longer than doctors’ initial expectations.
“It might be two or three weeks into the season,” said Redskins coach Jay Gruden. “We don’t know yet. There’s no timetable for him until he feels like he’s 100 percent to push off that leg. Until that time comes, he’s going to be rehabbing.”
By default, Case Keenum won the starting job. Keenum had one of the craziest seasons in the history of college football when he threw 48 touchdowns for the Houston Cougars back in 2011.
The Redskins are the sixth team for Keenum since 2012. He spent two stints with the Houston Texans.
Keenum played his best season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. He started 14 games and threw 22 touchdowns with only 7 picks. The Vikings went 13-3 but lost in the NFC Championship. The Vikes secured Kirk Cousins in free agency by signing him to a three-year deal worth $84 million.
Keenum signed with the Denver Broncos last season. John Elway punted on Keenum and traded him to the Washington Redskins after Elway secured Joey Flacco in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens.
New Hope: Haskins
With the 15th overall pick in the draft, the Skins selected Dwayne Haskins. Jay Gruden didn’t want to pass up on a potential star with Haskins. The kid has skills and tremendous upside, but he’s still a total noob.
Gruden doesn’t want to rush Haskins into action until he’s ready. For now, Keenum will be getting first team reps while Haskins learns how to be a pro QB. If Haskins shows promise in practices, or if Keenum gets injured, we’ll see Haskins in action. For now, the rookie is the current backup.
In two preseason games, Haskins went 15-of-29 passes for 231 yards and only one score. The rookie threw two interceptions and got sacked five times.
“Now that I’ve been here for a little bit, it’s like, man, it’s a process,” said Haskins about the adjustment to NFL life. “By no means am I settling. I know that I want to be great and I know I will be great. It’s just that I have to be in a place where I know what I’m doing.”
Former Skins backup Mark Sanchez has since retired and moved on with a cushy job at ESPN.