Second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins will start Week 1 for the Washington Football Team.
Coach Ron Rivera made it official on Wednesday, comparing the choice to when he handed the ball to rookie Cam Newton in 2011 with the Carolina Panthers.
“I made a commitment 10 years ago to another young quarterback, and just told him, ‘I’m choosing you because I believe in you,'” Rivera said. “Hopefully we can ride it just as long.”
Rivera: Dwayne Haskins ‘deserves the opportunity’
Rivera, in his first year in Washington, said Haskins earned the chance to start.
“He deserves the opportunity,” the coach said. “He’s going to get the opportunity, and he’s going to get my support.”
Who will back up Haskins isn’t clear. The team signed Kyle Allen in the offseason, and veteran Alex Smith hasn’t taken part in full-contact drills yet. He is coming off a devastating leg injury that he suffered almost two years ago.
The team made Haskins, an Ohio State product, the No. 15 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. He appeared in nine games last season and was 2-5 as a starter. Haskins, 23, went through some growing pains as a rookie, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,365 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was sacked 29 times.
Washington is scheduled to host the Philadelphia Eagles to kick off the season on Sept. 13.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)