FedExField — The last we saw Redskins rookie wide receiver Trey Quinn was the third quarter of the first game of the season on Sept. 9.
Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans, in his first game back from a right ankle injury, Quinn found himself a heartbeat away from playing quarterback.
That wasn’t the plan when the day started. But no one could have known that starting quarterback Alex Smith would sustain a broken leg. With backup Colt McCoy in the game and taking shots all over the place, Quinn and tight end Jordan Reed were the options if another injury struck.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Quinn was his guy if McCoy went down. Third-string quarterbacks are rarely active anyway, but Washington doesn’t have one on its 53-man roster or its practice squad.
“If it came to that I’d have to go in there and make some plays,” Quinn said. “I was ready.”
Quinn is no quarterback, but he is a great athlete. At 12 he pitched in the Little League World Series and threw a no-hitter. He still holds the Louisiana state record for receptions (357) and receiving yards (6,566) and played two years at LSU and two more at SMU before the Redskins drafted him in the seventh round with the final selection of the 2018 draft.
Quinn hurt his right ankle feeling a punt in the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 and just returned from injured reserve this week.
Reed actually was a quarterback in high school and was recruited at that position by the University of Florida. He even played there some as a redshirt freshman and had three touchdown passes to one interception, but quickly moved to tight end. He, too, was ready – but the coaches weren’t exactly telling him to warm up.
“Nah. Because you don’t even want to put that in the atmosphere” Reed said.
Jinxes aside, Quinn and Reed didn’t need to step in at quarterback to contribute. Both had big days. Reed caught seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Quinn moved right into the slot receiver position vacant for so long with Jamison Crowder hurt and caught four passes for 49 yards.
Reed and Smith, before his injury, did have a hiccup in the end zone. A pass intended for Reed was intercepted and returned 101 yards for a touchdown by Texans safety Justin Reid. On that 3rd-and-8 play, Reed ran what Gruden called a “swoll” route. But Smith had to step around Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney and the nose tackle was looping toward him as well. Reed took an angle toward the ball Smith didn’t expect.
The quarterback didn’t have clear vision of where his tight end was and had to rush the pass. The result gave Houston a 17-7 lead instead of what could have been a 10-10 game or even a Redskins’ lead.
Reed more than made up for it with his touchdown catch one play after McCoy had to come in for the injured Smith. That catch cut the Houston lead to 17-14 with 4:47 left in the third quarter.
Quinn, meanwhile, caught a 15-yard pass on a 2nd-and-11 to get the ball down to the Houston 15 with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Three plays later running back Adrian Peterson was in the end zone and the Texans’ lead was cut to 10-7.
Quinn also had a 13-yard catch on a 3rd-and-6 in the second quarter to get the ball to the Houston 16. That came on the ill-fated drive that ended with the 101-yard interception return.
Quinn’s 11-yard catch with 33 seconds to go was Washington’s last one of the game and got the ball to the Houston 45. Three plays later, kicker Dustin Hopkins’ 63-yard field goal attempt to win it fell short.
Quinn was also immediately inserted into the lineup as the punt returner, but the only Texans punt went out of bounds. Expect him back in that role against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
“Trey had a real big game for us,” Reed said. “He’s a good player. He’s a real good player.”
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