Dwayne Haskins Benched for Kyle Allen by Washington Football Team

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2020

Washington quarterback Kyle Allen (8) throws during practice at the team's NFL football training facility, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Washington Football Team is making a quarterback change, with Kyle Allen taking over the starting role from Dwayne Haskins for Sunday's Week 5 game against the Los Angeles Rams at FedEx Field.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported the news Wednesday. Washington confirmed the move:

In addition, Alex Smith will move into the backup role with Haskins sliding down to No. 3 on the depth chart, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Haskins posted mediocre numbers through the season's first four games. He completed 61 percent of his throws for 939 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He added 30 rushing yards and a score on the ground.

He ranked last among the 32 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN's Total QBR (30.6) and received a poor 47.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

The 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft threw for 314 yards in Washington's 31-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week but failed to throw a touchdown for the fourth time in 11 career starts.

"I gotta have confidence in myself every week," Haskins told reporters. "This week, I wanted to forget whatever happened previously, block out the noise and most importantly, have fun and trust what we're doing schematically. I trust my teammates, and I did that today and then it translates on a lot of plays where we had some conversions, some big gains and some tone plays."

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ESPN's Dan Orlovsky didn't believe Haskins was the main problem, though:

Regardless, Washington is going to give Allen a chance to secure the starting job. He previously played under head coach Ron Rivera with the Carolina Panthers over the last two seasons.

The 24-year-old University of Houston product posted a 62.1 percent completion rate for 3,588 yards with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 15 games (13 starts) for the Panthers.

He'll try to provide a spark for a Washington squad that ranks 30th in both total offense (301.8 YPG) and scoring offense (19.8 PPG) through a quarter of the regular season.

Allen's first start of the campaign will come against a Rams defense that ranks 13th in total defense (353.3 YPG) and sixth in scoring defense (20 PPG).