The price of pandemic partying starts with a $40,000 team fine, but Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins could be paying a steeper price with a label on his career.
The Associated Press and ESPN reported the team fine on Haskins, who apologized to teammates for violating NFL COVID-19 protocol by not wearing a mask at his girlfriend’s birthday party, which included more than 10 friends and strippers. He could still start Sunday’s game with a division title at stake if Washington starting quarterback Alex Smith is not able to play because of a calf injury.
“I know my team needs me, and I need to step up to the plate and I can’t be selfish, and I need to stop getting in my own way,” Haskins said after an Instagram story of the party went viral. “I’m putting things in motion as far as a plan for myself to be a better teammate and be more accountable and fix my issues that have brought me to this situation. I’ll do everything in my power to make the most of my second chance.”
The 2019 first-round pick wears a face mask and shield to practice and attends team meetings by conference call. Coach Ron Rivera removed his captain status and has spoken to him five to six times this week.
Haskins, demoted to third team before injuries to two quarterbacks, already violated coronavirus policy earlier this season when he reserved a room for a family friend at the team hotel. He also drew criticism from teammates after appearing to celebrate his 300-yard passing game in the locker room after a 14-point loss.
“I’ll have to earn that with my actions and my play,” Haskins said of his teammates’ trust. It would help if stopped throwing interceptions.