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Kelvin Harmon's reported torn ACL is quite a blow to Washington's depth at receiver

Kelvin Harmon's reported torn ACL is quite a blow to Washington's depth at receiver

Washington's already questionable depth at receiver is now looking even worse after critical news dropped Tuesday.

Kelvin Harmon, who was set to take on at least a decent role and possibly much more in his second season with the team, tore his ACL while training for 2020, according to Ian Rapoport.

After that story broke, the wideout sent out this series of tweets:

Harmon's positive outlook on the situation is encouraging and will be useful as he looks to come back from the injury. That being said, this is really unfortunate for both the player and the position he was ready to contribute to.

Harmon's 2019 stats — 30 catches for 365 yards — won't wow anyone, but 23 of those grabs came after Dwayne Haskins took over as the full-time starter. Those two displayed a real connection, and it was going to be fun to watch that develop further this year.

Just last month, in fact, Terry McLaurin spoke to how he had noticed some true improvement from the former sixth-round selection during their offseason workouts together.

"Kelvin is moving really well," McLaurin said. "He has a great burst in the way he’s running his routes. His feet are clean, he’s always had really good hands. When we’re connecting on deep balls, usually everybody kind of expects me, being the fast guy, that I’m going to hit on them all and things like that, but Kelvin’s timing has been great and he and Dwayne are really building that chemistry."

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As for the offense overall, some analysts had labeled it the weakest collection of targets in the NFL, and Harmon's absence obviously won't help that. Ron Rivera is now down someone who could've been a reliable, tough presence to go alongside the likes of the dynamic McLaurin and Steven Sims.

With Harmon sidelined, guys such as rookie Antonio Gandy-Golden and Cody Latimer will have more chances come their way (though Latimer's future is unsteady, too, thanks to some potential legal trouble). Third-round choice Antonio Gibson, who's listed as a running back but made plays on the outside at Memphis, could take on some added responsibilities as well. 

Serious injury news like this is always disappointing, but in the case of Harmon, it hits even harder. His career appeared to be on the upswing, plus the team as a whole was ready to count on him in 2020. The former is now delayed, however, while the latter won't come to fruition.

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Alex Smith could make 'interesting' battle for QB practice reps with Dwayne Haskins

Alex Smith could make 'interesting' battle for QB practice reps with Dwayne Haskins

Training camp should be a major opportunity for Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins to get a lot of work with new offensive coordinator Scott Turner and the new playbook, but if Alex Smith is healthy, the reps for Haskins might shrink.

"The biggest thing we’ve got to do is not make sure we’re divvying up the reps as evenly as possible, but we divvy up who they work against. This could be a very interesting challenge for us because of QB Alex Smith. If Alex is healthy and continues to get healthy and we do activate him, he’s going to be in the throes of this competition," head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday. 

The Washington Football Team drafted Haskins 15th overall last year, only after Smith suffered a broken leg in November 2018. Rivera wasn't around for either of the decisions to draft Haskins or trade for Smith, but now the new coach gets to try and solve the QB riddle in Washington. 

Haskins struggled as a rookie in part because he didn't get much practice work with the first team offense. It was obvious how little Haskins knew of the offense and his offensive teammates when he first got on the field in Week 4 last year. Some of that might have been self-inflicted, regardless, Haskins needed the work. 

Now in his second season, Haskins got exactly zero team drills in this offseason due to Coronavirus. None. 

So, with what should be the most important training camp of his young professional career, Haskins again might face another hurdle in the return of Smith. 

Smith deserves tremendous accolades for his recovery after 17 surgeries and intense infection in his leg. But is Smith getting back on the field the best thing for a young Washington team trying to rebuild?

Haskins is 23. Smith is 36.

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Haskins has tremendous potential, Smith has already proven he can produce.

Haskins has started seven NFL games. Smith has started seven NFL playoff games. 

Considering all of that, Haskins should get the most work of any Washington passer.

Take note that Rivera didn't say the reps needed to be equitable, but rather the level of competition. Haskins needs more reps than Smith or Kyle Allen.

RELATED: WHICH WASHINGTON PLAYER HAS A LOT RIDING ON THE 2020 SEASON?

Smith has been in the NFL since he was drafted first overall in 2005. Allen started 13 games for Rivera and Turner in the last two seasons. Haskins hasn't even been through a padded practice with Rivera and Turner. 

It makes total sense to get Allen reps against the first-team defense. He needs to be prepared. And should Smith get medically cleared to be back on the field against a defense, he should get some of those reps too. Washington needs to see what Smith has left if he actually gets cleared for football.

Still, Haskins should get the majority of that work. He needs it, and Rivera needs to see what he has in the former Ohio State star. 

Smith's recovery is an incredible story, but Rivera's plan in Washington is a long-term rebuild to put together a consistent playoff team. That means getting Haskins on the field as much as possible. 

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Peter King says cutting Derrius Guice was the 'right call' by Ron Rivera

Peter King says cutting Derrius Guice was the 'right call' by Ron Rivera

After Derrius Guice was arrested on domestic violence charges Friday, the football world's eyes were fixated on the team's response to the allegations.

Facing a critical decision before his first season as Washington's head coach, Ron Rivera ultimately released the former second-round pick. Guice then went unclaimed on waivers

NBC Sports' Peter King was one of those individuals paying close attention to Washington's response to the allegations against Guice following a Washington Post story detailing sexual misconduct by several front-office executives. His take on Rivera's decision? It was the only decision to make. 

"I think that was a good first move, and the only move, Ron Rivera," King wrote in his Football Morning in America column. "Cutting Derrius Guice when the weight of evidence suggested domestic violence by the 2018 second-round running back. With everyone looking to see how the organization would react to any domestic issues after the behavior in the organization documented by the Washington Post, the franchise did the only thing it could do when the heinous behavior Guice was accused of in Virginia was made public.

RELATED: RIVERA EXPLAINS DECISION TO CUT GUICE

"In this climate, it was impossible for Washington to allow the legal system to run its course," King said. "This was the right call."

Washington's backfield is in a tough spot following Guice's release. The hope in 2020 was for him to become a featured back after his first two seasons in the league were marred by injury. Rivera will now have to lean on an aging Adrian Peterson again and two rookies who've had limited experience at the position. 

But those issues aren't the worst problems to have. Rivera and Washington were under pressure to make the right decision, and in King's eyes, they did. 

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