Editor’s note: For editorial purposes, the NFL team residing in Washington, D.C. will continue to be referred to as the Washington Redskins until the franchise officially settles on a franchise nickname.
The Washington Redskins appear to enter 2020 with quarterback Dwayne Haskins entrenched as their starter. That decision sounds rational since the franchise selected Haskins in the first round in 2019 to become the long term starter. Haskins showed signs of progress late last season, providing hope that he will become a solid starter in Washington for the foreseeable future.
Haskins’ status as the starter isn’t guaranteed in 2020. Redskins’ head coach Ron Rivera inherited Haskins from the previous regime; therefore he has no professional attachment to Haskins. That theory has been reiterated with the offseason acquisition of quarterback Kyle Allen, who played under Rivera when both were with the Carolina Panthers.
Further complicating the Redskins’ quarterback position is Alex Smith. He was the team’s starting quarterback before suffering a career threatening knee injury in 2018. Few remember the Redskins had a 6-2 record in 2018 before Smith suffered his injury against the Houston Texans. Subsequently, Washington struggled as they went 4-20 after Smith’s injury.
2020 training camp has shown Smith participating in drills in his quest to return to the field. His efforts have drawn praise from Rivera, hinting that Smith could figure prominently in how the Redskins choose to handle the quarterback position.
Washington is a long way from making that determination as Smith has not been cleared by the team for full contact drills. It would be a remarkable story if Smith were to return, earn a roster spot, and play a pivotal role for the Redskins in 2020.