It was trending this way for most of the week, Alex Smith will miss another game as he deals with a calf strain to his surgically repaired leg. There was optimism earlier in the week that he could return after a week off, but that disappeared as the week went on. He practiced on Friday, but video from practice did not make it look like he was back to playing health. He was reportedly still feeling soreness, but Washington listed him as questionable and wanted to see how he felt on game day.
The decision has reportedly been made, and Smith will be inactive today. This means that Dwayne Haskins Jr. gets his second straight start, and another chance to show this coaching staff what he can do. His start against the Seahawks last week was shaky, with two interceptions that kept the team down. Haskins only started playing decent football later in the game after he "got mad".
At this point Dwayne Haskins is expected to start for Washington today, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 27, 2020
What followed the game led to one of the biggest stories of the week(year?). Photos of Haskins partying with what appeared to be strippers showed up on social media. This lead to multiple apologies to the team, fans, coaches, and anyone else that would listen. Ron Rivera stripped him of his captaincy and the team fined him $40k.
Washington didn't go further and issue a suspension for Haskins' 2nd COVID-19 protocol violations of the season. The team can clinch the playoffs today if the Giants lose and Washington wins. With Alex Smith's health still in question, the coaches hands were tied as they need Haskins now, but he isn't in their long-term plans according to a report from Jason La Canfora this morning.
Dwayne Haskins' days in DC are numbered as he helps them fight for division title https://t.co/8FcFqpFfxF— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 27, 2020
"Haskins had asked for a trade earlier in the season, following his benching in the first month of the season, sources said, and the WFT was willing to move him then but there was a limited-at-best market. That market is likely to be even more constrained in 2021, with most teams expecting him to be released this offseason after a highly-tumultuous two seasons in Washington since being selected in the first round by a prior regime."
La Canfora said it is virtually certain that Washington and Haskins will part ways one way or another next year. Even if Haskins wins today and has a better performance than last week, it is likely too little, too late. Haskins has had two coaching staffs sour on him, and even though Dan Snyder influenced his selection in the draft last year, Ron Rivera is over it.