ASHBURN, VA. – The Washington Football team fined quarterback Dwayne Haskins and removed him from the role of team captain three days after he was photographed at an unmasked strippers event, coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday.
Sources told ESPN that the fine was $ 40,000.
“The biggest thing is that we hold him accountable and he was punished and he accepted it,” said Rivera. “If we go forward, this is what we’re looking for. If you make a mistake, you have to step up and take responsibility.”
But there’s still a chance that Haskins will continue to start for Washington (6-8), which hosts the Carolina Panthers (4-10) on Sunday. Alex Smith didn’t train because of his tight right calf and limited himself to playing catch while his teammates stretched.
“I know my team needs me,” said Haskins. “I have to step on the plate and I can’t be selfish and I have to stop getting in my own way. I set things in motion as far as it is planned for me to be a better teammate and to be more responsible.” and fix my problems that put me in this situation. “
On Sunday, Haskins attended his girlfriend’s birthday party at a hotel that had strippers in attendance. It was the second time he broke the COVID-19 protocols this season. Earlier this year, the evening before a game at the New York Giants, he made a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel.
“I know I shouldn’t have put my team at risk,” said Haskins. “I shouldn’t have been there. We were 10+ people not wearing masks and that’s an injury regardless of where it was.”
Rivera said he was made aware of the posts Monday afternoon and contacted Haskins immediately. He said they had Haskins come into the facility for testing and were in constant contact with the NFL.
“While we are extremely disappointed with the decision Dwayne made, I’m glad he was telling the truth and was open about the whole situation,” said Rivera, who said he and Haskins had over five or six times talked about the situation.
Rivera later added, “Sunday’s game is more important to me than what happened. What happened was dealt with.”
Haskins apologized to his teammates and did starter repetitions during practice.
“I felt that he was heartfelt and sincere,” said Smith. “As teammates our job, disappointed as we were, is to help him and to support him as teammates. We all go through things and make mistakes, and we all have our own business. No judgment.”
Washington also gave reps for backups Taylor Heinicke and Steven Montez, both of whom were active last week when Smith was out.
Haskins, who, like his teammates, was tested daily, has to practice with a mask and face mask with a special shield. He will attend the meetings via conference call.
He said it was difficult to address the situation publicly.
“If you screw it up, you have to be able to admit it,” he said. “I had to do that.”
Rivera, after consulting with the NFL, said part of the plan includes Haskins receiving two daily tests. In practice, it should create social distance as much as possible. All of their meetings are virtual.
Haskins has two years left on his rookie contract and there is certainly no guarantee he will last beyond this season. It was disappointing how he prepared in the week when he started the first four games – a common theme last season as well.
He didn’t make himself popular with teammates or coaches by appearing to be partying in the locker room after his first 300-yard game after a 20-point loss to Baltimore.
So when asked if this was a last chance, Haskins said, “Yes.”
“But you get a chance, you have to make the most of it, and I’m just grateful to have that chance,” said Haskins. “If you screw it up, you have to be able to admit it. It’s all self-provoking and I have to be man enough to overcome it and help this team win and those are my plans.”
Smith, who did not work during the open-to-media portion, was classified as restricted during practice.
He said he “exhausts everything” to play, knowing that if it wins and the Giants lose to Baltimore, his team would take the NFC East title.
“Make sure you plan to be out there,” said Smith. “There will be progress here over the course of the week.”