Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera chose not to suspend quarterback Dwayne Haskins after he violated COVID-19 protocols Sunday evening, which the team learned of after a social media post showed the second-year pro partying at a strip club without a mask.
But Rivera did fine Haskins, and also stripped him of captain status.
Haskins practiced with the team on Wednesday and remains in line to start if Alex Smith isn’t healthy enough to play.
“There are a lot of things I could’ve done,” Rivera told reporters Wednesday. “But in conversations with the league and looking at things that were done around the league, we felt that we would fine him and move on.”
The team fined Haskins $40,000, more than half of his weekly game check.
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Haskins hadn’t played since Week 4 – when Rivera benched him hoping veteran play at the position would spark a turnaround from the 1-3 start – but returned to the lineup Sunday when Smith missed the game with a calf strain. Washington lost 20-15 to Seattle.
Following the game, Haskins was seen at the nightclub.
Rivera said he met with Haskins to discuss the incident and remains in communication with him.
“One thing I appreciated was his honesty in the conversation,” the coach said. “He and I probably have talked five or six times in the past two days.”
Haskins issued a public apology and Rivera said he liked how teammates responded to Haskins. But he still opted to revoke his captain status.
Washington remains in the midst of a playoff push and can clinch the NFC East on Sunday with a win over the Carolina Panthers and a New York Giants loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Haskins practiced after Washington received a provision from the league which required him to attend meetings virtually, arrive at team headquarters only for practice, change in a separate locker room outside, wear his helmet with a face shield and mask the entire practice and depart immediately after.
Rivera maintained that Smith, who was listed as limited in practice, is the starter and that Haskins will only play if the 14-year veteran isn’t able to return.