- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 24, 2019

LANDOVER — The fans chanted the rookie’s name. Starter Case Keenum had his worst night with the Redskins, committing five turnovers. And as Washington fell to 0-3 Monday in a 31-15 loss to the Chicago Bears, it was impossible not to wonder when the team will turn to first-rounder Dwayne Haskins.

But when asked if there was a chance of making a switch at quarterback for next week’s game against the New York Giants, coach Jay Gruden said he was not entertaining moving on from Keenum.

“The most important thing is we have to have some continuity,” Gruden said. “We can’t be changing people every five minutes here. I’ve got to give Case an ample opportunity to play with these new guys.

“I mean, this is his first time in this offense, really. … I’ve made this point before: We’re not going to be perfect, but we need to be better. And I think we can get better. Otherwise, if I didn’t think we had a chance to get better, then I would make a change.”

Against the Bears, the Redskins fell in a 28-point hole in part because of Keenum’s play. The 31-year-old threw his first interception of the season to former Redskins safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, which was returned 37 yards for a touchdown.

Keenum committed two more turnovers in the first half — getting stripped by star pass rusher Khalil Mack and getting picked off by cornerback Kyle Fuller. In both instances, Chicago scored, each time facing a short field.

In the second half, Keenum was better, but he still committed one too many mistakes. To open the half, Clinton-Dix read Keenum’s eyes throughout his progression and grabbed a pass targeted to tight end Vernon Davis.

Later on, the Redskins were down 13 with seven minutes left and 16 yards away from the end zone. But on a fourth-and-1, Keenum tried to jump over the pile on a quarterback sneak — and fumbled the ball before he hit the ground.

“I have to take care of the ball better,” Keenum said. “That’s my number one job.”

For the Redskins’ first two games, Keenum did exactly that. The quarterback led a surprisingly efficient passing attack and went without throwing an interception across 81 attempts. It was a vast improvement from his performance last year with the Denver Broncos, in which he had a career-high 15 interceptions in 16 games.

Before Monday’s loss, Keenum’s effort had silenced demands for Haskins to play. The veteran had clearly won the starting job, and the Redskins stressed that the Ohio State product needed more time to develop. Through his first two games, Keenum had thrown for 601 yards and five touchdowns — numbers that would hardly suggest a quarterback change.

But the NFL is such a week-to-week league and with the Redskins last in the NFC East, Gruden will continue to face questions of when Haskins will get his shot.

For now, the Redskins are sticking with Keenum.

“I still like Case, still has the tools to become a very efficient quarterback in this offense to get us some victories here moving forward,” Gruden said.

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