GREEN BAY, Wis. — Case Keenum sprinted out of the tunnel before the second half to get ready, just in case. The Redskins quarterback was warming up if Dwayne Haskins couldn’t play because of the ankle injury he suffered in the second quarter of Sunday’s 20-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Haskins, though, remained in the game — telling reporters there was “no way” he was coming out of the contest.
But the decision to send the team’s 2019 No. 1 pick back on the field, despite a noticeable limp, raised some eyebrows Sunday.
Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan defended the decision afterward.
“He was cleared,” Callahan said. “He was fine. There was no consideration.”
Callahan said there was no “medical reason” to make a change at quarterback. He noted the team’s doctors taped up Haskins’ ankle and said the 22-year-old “seemed like he was OK.”
Haskins battled through the injury, throwing for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception. But there were moments when the signal-caller’s mobility was clearly affected because of the ankle. Haskins limped into the locker room at halftime. He was slow to get up after hits. Even his dropbacks lacked their usual crispness.
Redskins fans who’ve seen this movie before argued Haskins should have been pulled. Earlier in the decade, quarterback Robert Griffin III played through a knee injury in a Week 14 2012 game against the Baltimore Ravens. In the NFC Wild Card game, he tore his ACL completely on a muddy FedEx Field surface. Griffin was never the same.
With Washington at 3-9 and with the playoffs the longest of long shots, fans wondered Sunday what was the point of risking Haskins.
The quarterback said he suffered the injury when former Redskins linebacker Preston Smith fell on his leg during a sack. The Ohio State product was slow to get up, limping off the field for fourth down. Haskins was under duress all afternoon, and the Packers finished with four sacks.
Haskins said the Injury limited his ability to escape the pocket or use his feet to evade a defender. Instead, “I kind of just sat there,” he said.
But Haskins repeated he wasn’t going to sit. He shared a story about a similar injury his last year of high school — he didn’t exit then, and wasn’t going to now.
Callahan called Haskins a competitor.
“We rolled with Dwayne,” Callahan said. “He battled hard. He battled through some tough bumps, I guess. But there was never an instance where we thinking of taking him out of the game. That never occurred to us.”