SNIDER: Redskins need Haskins sooner than later

Rick Snider
October 20, 2019 - 5:17 pm
Redskins coach Bill Callahan isn't budging off quarterback Case Keenum. And, maybe a quick turnaround while traveling to Minnesota on Thursday isn't the best time to change quarterbacks. Plus, Keenum has the revenge factor along with former/current teammate Adrian Peterson against the Vikings.
But this should be Keenum's farewell. After generating zero points in the 9-0 loss to San Francisco, Washington has to declare this 1-6 season a disaster and learn if Haskins can produce in 2020.
Granted the weather and field conditions were awful on Sunday, but the Redskins wouldn't risk anything beyond a short pass. Keenum's stat line – 9 of 12 for 77 yards with a 91.3 rating – looks decent, but there was no passing game. A 19-yarder Trey Quinn skied to grab was it. The 49ers defense played tighter, so the running game was stalled. Sure, Peterson gained a respectable 81 yards on 20 carries, often pushing back defenders on the soggy turf, but ultimately his only impactful play was a fumble.
Teams can't win on the ground in the NFL. The Redskins played their best game of the season in allowing three field goals and they still couldn't dominate with the run. At least all that running made for a quick 2:36 game, the NFL's shortest game since 2009. I'm sure the 35,000 or so wet fans appreciated that.
Keenum hasn't played well since the season opener and even then, only for one half. Each game has seen greater limitations, so why bother continuing this circus? Because Haskins isn't ready? Sorry, this is the NFL. You either get ready quickly or you're quickly gone. First-rounders need to play. If Haskins plays poorly, it doesn't matter to the team's record. Better to make those mistakes this season than next. The worst thing Washington can do is not play Haskins this season and enter the offseason wondering what he can do.
Still, Callahan never blinked when asked his starter for Minnesota, saying, "We still have faith in Case."
Callahan's alone in that belief. If Washington plays poorly at Minnesota, the team has 10 days to ready Haskins for Buffalo on Nov. 3. The Redskins follow with a bye so they have 24 days to get Haskins ready for the New York Jets and the rest of the season. If that isn't enough time, then no amount of time will be enough.
Give Keenum a farewell chance against one of his former teams. Then, it’s time to move on to yet another rebuilding effort in the Snyder era of disasters.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks