NFL

Dwayne Haskins gets emotional after return to field for Washington

Some wondered whether Dwayne Haskins had played his last game for Washington, but he not only returned to the field in Week 14 — he led the Washington Football Team to a win.

Haskins came on in relief for an injured Alex Smith (calf) and led the WFT to a 23-15 win over the 49ers. The second-year quarterback completed 7-of-12 passes for 51 yards while avoiding turning the ball over. Afterward, Haskins couldn’t hold in the emotion of what it all meant to him.

“The biggest growth that I’ve had has just been as a person,” Haskins said in his postgame news conference. “This is probably the biggest amount of adversity that I’ve faced since coming into this world. … I prayed, and I prayed again, and I’m just glad that I’m able to be here right now and tell you guys that I’m thankful.”

Haskins was benched after Week 4 this season, meaning he’d made a total of 11 starts for Washington before being sent to the sideline in favor of Kyle Allen. With a new head coach, Ron Rivera, at the helm, Haskins didn’t have the same backing he did as the 15th overall pick in 2019.

After Allen was injured, Washington didn’t go back to Haskins but instead turned to the veteran Smith. For 10 weeks, Haskins didn’t play. He missed multiple practices at one point with an illness which even kept him away from the stadium for a game. But since Allen had season-ending surgery, Smith’s calf injury Sunday brought Haskins into the game.

The former Ohio State star didn’t do anything remarkable, but he wasn’t asked to. Washington held a 13-7 lead when Haskins took over, and he protected it. He was only the third-most notable Ohio State player for the WFT in Week 14, as Chase Young had a fumble return for a touchdown and Terry McLaurin topped 1,000 receiving yards for the season.

Haskins didn’t need more attention than he got, though, because he’d finally made it back on the field. 

“He’s showing growth,” Rivera told reporters after the game, “and that’s what we’re going to continue to look for.” 

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