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Dwayne Haskins Impressed Coaches, Teammates With Gritty Performance While Fighting Through Injury


Dwayne Haskins jogged onto the field to start the second half against the Packers, and it was apparent that something was wrong.

As Haskins made his way to the huddle, he had a noticeable limp with every step. With him being the future of the franchise, there was rightfully some cause for concern. The Redskins were only down 17-6, though, and Haskins later said "there was no way I was coming out of that game."

With backup Case Keenum on sideline staying loose, Haskins played the entire second half. He made things exciting at the end by cutting the Packers' lead down to one score, but that wasn't enough to stop them from picking up their 10th win of the season with a 20-15 win.

There was little joy to be found in the crowded visiting locker room after the game. Most players were simply ready to get on the plane and out of Green Bay.

However, Haskins' teammates did manage to find some solace within the disappointing result: they saw that Haskins was willing to fight for them and this team.

"He just kept fighting, and it showed us how bad he wants it," said running back Chris Thompson. "That's good to see out of a young quarterback."

Haskins said he was injured on a sack in the second quarter when linebacker Preston Smith fell on his ankle. It hindered his movement, both in and outside of the pocket, and affected the timing on his throws. Although he isn't considered a true dual-threat quarterback, he does normally have the ability to evade blitzes. The injury all but took that away, leaving him no choice but to take unnecessary hits at times.

Haskins has had a relatively clean history when it comes to injuries. He said he last hurt his ankle during the last game of his high school career. Haskins didn't come out of the game then, either, and although he said there was "some talk" about him sitting out Sunday, he played through it.

That's part of being a quarterback, he said.

"We had to throw the ball down the field and make some play," Haskins said. "I couldn't move the way I usually could, and part of playing this position is trusting my eyes and maneuvering in the pocket when I needed to."

Haskins actually looked better in the second half than he did in the first. He completed 68% of his passes in the third and fourth quarters for 100 yards compared to 6 of 11 passing for 70 yards before the break.

Haskins' biggest moment of the game came in the final two minutes, when he drove the offense down to the Packers' 13-yard line while solely relying on his arm. A dart in the end zone to fellow rookie Terry McLaurin made the score 20-15 with just over a minute left to play.

Interim head coach Bill Callahan loved what he saw from Haskins.

"He's a tough guy," Callahan said. "He played the game, he played through pain. He's a competitor. Quarterbacks are competitors, tough, tough people, and I've got a lot of respect for Dwayne and what he went through."

At his press conference Monday, Callahan recalled that Aaron Rodgers had a sprained ankle when the Packers played the Redskins in Week 3 of the 2018 season and was "a lot more immobile than our guy." Callahan added Haskins "competed his butt off" against Green Bay this time around.

"If that doesn't tell you anything, I don't know what does," Callahan said.

His teammates loved it, too; McLaurin echoed Callahan's statements by also saying Haskins is a tough player, while Adrian Peterson said Haskins electing to stay in the game "says a lot" about his character.

"That was one of the things I expressed to him," Peterson said after the game. "He was pretty good in the pocket and continued to go out there and fight through what he was dealing with."

The biggest thing Peterson learned from Haskins in the second half is that he has the grit to stay in the game, no matter how he feels.

"He's gonna fight," Peterson said. "It's going to be hard to knock him out of the game."

Haskins appreciated the compliments he received from his teammates. After all, that is the kind of player he wants to be.

In the end, though, all he wanted to do is win. Tending to his ankle could wait.

"I'm a competitor, I'm a warrior," Haskins said. "That means a lot to me that they saw I was fighting out there. In spite of what the trainers might say or the coaches might say … I wasn't coming out of the game."

Check out photos of the Washington Redskins during their regular season Week 14 game against the Green Bay Packers.

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