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Despite loss, Dwayne Haskins has best game with Redskins

Despite loss, Dwayne Haskins has best game with Redskins

LANDOVER — What you are looking for is progress. 

Game by game, Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins is under an intense glare. He is only a rookie. There is still so much to learn. But a first-round draft pick at his position is almost never given the luxury of time. 

Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Haskins had a breakthrough. He kept Washington in a back-and-forth game that featured 10 lead changes. But ultimately, the Redskins lost 37-27. A strip and a fumble return on the final Hail Mary throw from the 47 was returned for a touchdown by the Eagles instead.

The result stung. Bill Callahan sped to the press conference room in record time and didn’t offer much praise for Haskins or anyone else. Haskins himself was bummed. 

“I’m nowhere close to where I want to be,” Haskins said. “That should be an average game for me.”

That’s a harsh self assessment. But in his sixth start as an NFL quarterback, there was more to like than not. Haskins completed eight of his first nine passes and 19 of 28 overall. Yes, Terry McLaurin did most of the work on a 75-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, but Haskins put the ball in a perfect spot where his old Ohio State teammate didn’t have to break stride.

Haskins didn’t throw an interception, wasn’t sacked and you can cut him some slack on the final play. The Eagles jumped the Hail Mary with an all out blitz and Haskins never had a chance to get a throw off.

Steven Sims also caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Haskins, who finished with a 121.3 quarterback rating. It was easily his best game so far. We might not know who will be coaching the Redskins next season, but they at least have some encouraging film to watch heading into the offseason next month. Callahan didn’t have much to say. So let’s get Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s perspective. 

“They study the tape as well and I thought Haskins really stepped in and did a nice job today, and led his team.” Pederson said. “It was something that you know he is capable of doing. He’s in this league for a reason.”

Haskins’ pass to McLaurin came on the first play of Washington’s second drive of the game. It's third drive went 75 yards, too, and only took seven plays. A 19-yard pass to Sims pushed the ball into Philadelphia territory. The Eagles helped with three penalties on the drive, but Haskins found Sims on a 3rd-and-5 from the 5. The Redskins were in position to score a touchdown and did it to take a 14-10 lead.

Down 17-14, Haskins led another scoring drive in the third quarter. His 11-yard pass to McLaurin on 2nd-and-12 set up a first down run by Adrian Peterson on 3rd-and-short. He found Peterson out of the backfield for seven yards and then used his legs to gain 23 yards on the ground himself.

That isn’t something we’ve seen much from Haskins yet. Call it another sign of growth. Haskins knew the Eagles were going to come with a blitz. The Redskins had run that play six times before and he noticed a linebacker where a defensive end should be. So he tucked it and ran. That scoring drive then ended on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 10-yard cutback run by Peterson to make it 21-17.

A couple more fourth-quarter drives stalled, but the Redskins got points on a pair of Dustin Hopkins field goals. In the end, that wasn’t enough. The Eagles took the lead 31-27 on a Carson Wentz touchdown pass with 26 seconds to go and then added the final score to win it.

There are no moral victories for Haskins or the Redskins. Their standing is clear: It’s a 3-11 team just hoping to see signs from its young quarterback. Sunday, at least, they were there all game and not just in the fourth quarter of blowout losses.

There was the 75-yard touchdown pass to McLaurin, his 23-yard run and six other passes for more than 10 yards. Haskins set his career high in passing yards (286) and tied his career high in completions (19). The result wasn’t what he wanted, but the process was better. Now for the hard part. Do it again.  

“We did a lot of good things that we can continue to work on for next week [against the New York Giants],” Haskins said. “Let’s bring it for the last home game of the season and hopefully we come out with a win.”

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NFL announces fineable violations for 'High Risk COVID-19 conduct' including night clubs

NFL announces fineable violations for 'High Risk COVID-19 conduct' including night clubs

If the NFL is going to pull off a season during the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most important factors will be players, coaches and staff remaining diligent when it comes to how they handle themselves outside the facility. One wrong choice could lead to an outbreak in the locker room.

In order to try and keep that scenario from playing out, the league has shared a list of fineable violations related to COVID-19 conduct for the 2020 season. The activities mentioned in a memo sent to teams are considered high risk.

The updated list of offenses includes attending a nightclub, bar, house gathering or sporting event in which the player does not have protective equipment and/or is in a situation where there are more than 10 people and social distancing is not possible. As NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero noted, a church is not considered to be an area of high risk that could result in a penalty.

Should a player break one of these rules, they could be subjected to a fine of one week's salary, or they could be suspended without pay for a maximum of four weeks. Pelissero also reported that non-player employees of the team such as coaches and medical staff could be given similar punishments.

RELATED: WASHINGTON LB JOSH HARVEY-CLEMONS OPTS OUT OF SEASON

Major League Baseball is currently dealing with outbreaks on multiple teams, including a situation with the St. Louis Cardinals in which it was reported that some players had left the team hotel to go to a casino. Clearly, the NFL is trying to make sure that idea is never considered by its players. 

In the week-plus since training camp began, the league has already seen numerous positives pop up across the league, as players are being sent to the COVID-19 reserve list on the daily. At the same time, a population of the players has opted out of the season amid concerns about their health and safety. Any others considering a similar course of action will have until Thursday, August 6, to do so.

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Report: NFL sets Thursday as last day for players to opt out of 2020 season

Report: NFL sets Thursday as last day for players to opt out of 2020 season

The NFL has officially decided on an opt-out date for the 2020 season.

All players across the league will have to make their final decision on whether to play or not in 2020 by 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Thus far, over 40 players have opted out of the 2020 season. While the NFL has yet to see any major stars decide to forego football this fall, notable names such as C.J. Mosley, Damien Williams and Michael Pierce have all decided not to play.

RELATED: JACK DEL RIO KEEPS OPINION OF PLAYERS OPTING OUT TO HIMSELF

On Monday, the Washington Football Team announced that linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons is opting out, becoming the team's second player to do so. Defensive lineman Caleb Brantley, who was deemed high-risk to play in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, announced he would skip the 2020 season last week.

In Baltimore, the Ravens have seen two players opt out so far: De'Anthony Thomas and Andre Smith.

The NFL is not the only league to see its players decide to skip the season due to the virus. Several NBA players chose not to travel to Orlando for the season's resumption, while the MLB is still seeing players opt-out two weeks into its season.

With the NFL's opt-out deadline less than four days away, it's likely more will join the nearly 40 different players that have decided to pass on the season.

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