ASHBURN — As Kyle Allen returned to the practice field on Wednesday to prepare for his second start, recently benched Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins remained absent with an illness.
Haskins also wasn’t at the stadium for Sunday’s game, the last time media were allowed around the team. Coach Ron Rivera said Haskins has not tested positive for coronavirus, and said he understood it to be a gastrointestinal issue.
“We’re not keeping him out of the building, just so everybody knows,” Rivera said. “What we’ve done is, he’s come in, he’s seen the doctors, he’s taking his test and he’s gone home. So, again, I don’t really know what the ailment is.”
Offensive coordinator Scott Turner also had little interest in diving into Haskins’ situation.
“[Tuesday] was the players’ day off, so we’re grinding on the game plan and I didn’t see him at all,” Turner said. “I did not know he was sick and that he wasn’t going to come in until right before our meetings were about to start [Wednesday], and once the day gets rolling I don’t really have much of a break. So, haven’t talked to him at all today. From everything I hear, I expect him to feel better and be out here tomorrow.”
Rivera declined to discuss whether he would trade Haskins, though it seems unlikely another team would have interest in acquiring him amid the season given that he would be unlikely to jump right in and be ready to play.
“This is an opportunity for him to continue to learn and grow and develop,” Rivera said of Haskins being Washington’s third-string quarterback. “Again as I said, I have not quit on the kid as far as his development. The thing that we’ve done is we’ve looked at where we are and said: ‘Hey, these guys give us a better chance to win right now because they know what we do, they understand the system and they’ve been in the system.’”
That quarterback is Allen, who spent time with Rivera and Turner in Carolina last year. Allen got his first start in a loss to the Rams on Sunday, but had to leave the game in the second quarter when he was hit on his left shoulder by Rams defender Jalen Ramsey while scrambling for a first down.
Turner felt positive about Allen’s overall outing, but did not like the play that led to the injury.
“He doesn’t need to be doing what he did,” Turner said. “That was reckless. We talked to him about that as: ‘Hey, it’s third-and-1. If you throw the ball away and we punt, whatever. You stay on the field.’ So, I think he’ll learn from that going forward and not take on defensive players, especially guys like Jalen Ramsey.”
One focus this week will be getting big plays from the offense. In last week’s game, Washington didn’t complete a pass more than 6 yards downfield. That lack of offensive firepower is one reason the Football Team has been trailing by double digits at halftime in every game this season (though they came back to win in Week 1 against Philadelphia).
“I think really good offenses around the league that are successful, they have those chunk plays,” Allen said. “But, they also take what’s there for them. I think there’s a happy medium.”
Turner called it a “group effort,” noting that there needs to be better protection from the offensive line, better separation by receivers, and better play calls from himself.
Notes: Washington started the practice week with full participation from receiver Terry McLaurin, who has been limited the past two weeks, and Chase Young, who returned to action last week after a groin injury. ... Offensive lineman Brandon Scherff (knee), who is now eligible to return from injured reserve, practiced but has not been activated.