Add another unfortunate bump to the road that is Dwayne Haskins’ career.
The Steelers quarterback and former No. 15 overall pick with Washington entered Sunday’s game against the Lions as the backup, with Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID-19/reserve list and Mason Rudolph starting in his place. However, he reportedly did not exactly seize the opportunity in front of him.
NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that Haskins “spent warmups throwing lousy passes and checking his phone,” despite being “ostensibly one play from his first game action” with Pittsburgh. Later, while on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan, Kinkhabwala said that Steelers coaches observed Haskins warm up, and were not happy.
“Look at that! How ridiculous is that? That’s just lazy,” they reportedly said.
Rudolph, who played every snap for the Steelers, didn’t exactly impress, completing 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception as Pittsburgh and the winless Lions tied 16-16. It was perhaps Haskins’ best chance to see some game action – and perhaps those pregame observations played a role in sticking with Rudolph.
Haskins was selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and started 13 games with Washington, but was released halfway into his second season after losing his starting job, with the team reportedly unimpressed with his work ethic. Even in his first season, he was criticized for taking selfies with fans as the team ran out the clock on his first career victory, with backup Case Keenum needing to run out onto the field to take the final snap.
The Steelers picked up Haskins in 2020 and kept him on the roster, though he has yet to receive any significant regular season game action. After an appearance during the preseason, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he “didn’t think it was enough varsity work from [Haskins].”
It seems like the 24-year-old is just about one strike away from being off the team – and perhaps out of the league entirely.