For Dwayne Haskins, the 2020 season has not gone the way he expected it to. The second-year quarterback began the season as the team's starter but was quickly relegated to third-string after just four games.
Ten weeks later, injuries to Washington's other quarterbacks, Kyle Allen and Alex Smith, made way for Haskins to return. Haskins' performance this past Sunday against Seattle wasn't anything spectacular, but his on-field play was quickly overshadowed by his off-the-field antics afterward.
Haskins was photographed partying mask-less on Sunday following Washington's loss to Seattle, violating the league's COVID protocols. He issued an apology on Twitter on Tuesday, but potentially put himself and his teammates in danger by not following the rules.
Based on Haskins' uneven season, former Washington defensive back and NFL Network analyst DeAngelo Hall was surprised with the quarterback's decision-making, considering the 23-year-old knows his future in the nation's capital is not a guarantee.
"Dwayne was a guy who didn't have a long rope anyway in Washington," Hall said on NFL Total Access.
"Just by the messaging that Coach [Ron] Rivera and the rest of the staff have already shown Dwayne Haskins, you would've thought this kid would have been on his best behavior," Hall continued. "That is the head-scratching thing, what is mind-boggling."
Despite his early-season benching, Haskins was given a "golden opportunity" this past Sunday, taking over as the starting quarterback of a Washington team in the middle of a playoff push. If Haskins had played well, he could have given the organization a bit more optimism that the first-round investment Washington made in him in 2019 was worth it.
Instead, Haskins turned in an uneven outing and then chose to party after, neither of which bodes well for his future with the team.
"This is a kid who understands he doesn't have many more chances," Hall said. "For him to go out after the game without a mask on, put himself in danger and the rest of the guys in that locker room."
Even if Haskins remains coronavirus-free, the second-year quarterback will return to the bench once Smith is healthy. Head coach Ron Rivera said as much following Sunday's game, and the team is reportedly optimistic Smith will be able to return this week against Carolina.
"This team actually has a chance to win the NFC East," Hall said. "That was something when the season started, it wasn't attainable. I think everyone understands that when Alex Smith is healthy, he will be the guy. There is no doubt about that."
So, what's next for Haskins? Hall believes him taking a step back and continuing to learn from Smith, both on and off the field, is what the second-year pro needs to do.
"For Dwayne Haskins, it's about him trying to learn from this and grow as a football player," Hall said.