Todd Collins received word midway through the second quarter of Sunday's game against Kansas City.
The Redskins' offense was sluggish in the first half, compiling just 110 yards against the NFL's 32nd-ranked defense. Campbell had completed 9-of-16 passes for 89 yards and one interception.
With the Redskins trailing 3-0, head coach Jim Zorn told Collins in the locker room at halftime that he would take over at quarterback.
"I felt the need to create a spark on our football team offensively and went with Todd," Zorn said.
Collins did provide a spark, leading the Redskins to a pair of field goal on his first two drives.
But the Redskins lost 14-6 to the Chiefs.
Collins finished the game with 6-of-14 completions for 75 yards.
Zorn was asked if the change at quarterback was a temporary move?
"Right now I am going to just evaluate what I have going on," Zorn replied. "I still have confidence in what Jason can do. He just was not comfortable in the pocket and not comfortable with some of the things that were going on down the field."
Zorn cited some hesitation in Campbell's decision-making and some inaccuracy in his throws as reasons for the switch.
When Collins, a 15-year NFL veteran, ran on to the field at the start of the third quarter, he was greeted with cheers from Redskins fans. It was Collins's first action since the 2007 regular season.
Collins provided a brief spark
His first pass was a deep throw to Santana Moss downfield.
Moss had a step on two defenders and made a diving grab for a 42-yard reception.
The play led to a 40-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham.
Collins's second drive of the game was highlighted by a 78-yard run by Clinton Portis to the Chiefs' 10-yard line.
In a key sequence, Collins overthrew Moss and Antwaan Randle El on fade passes in the end zone. Then on third down, Collins's pass was batted away at the line of scrimmage.
Again, the Redskins had to settle for a field goal, a 28-yarder by Suisham.
Late in the game, Collins had two opportunities to lead the offense downfield for game-winning scores.
The Redskins were forced to punt after a 3-and-out. On 3rd-and-8 with 2:45 left, Collins fumbled the snap and the ball was recovered by Ladell Betts.
The Redskins got the ball back trailing 12-6, but an illegal block by Davis on the kickoff forced the offense to start at their own 7-yard line with 31 seconds left.
Collins dropped back to pass. Standing in the end zone, he waited for a receiver to get open.
He waited too long. Defensive end Tamba Hali dragged Collins down for a safety.
After the game, Collins said he felt "pretty good" in his first regular season action in 20 months.
"We got the big pass to Moss and it hurt us that we could not convert opportunities in the red zone for touchdowns," Collins said. "After that, Clinton the big run, and then we couldn't put anything together on third downs and continue drives."