New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones made a strong first impression in Week 3.
Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins might have the same chance Sunday when the NFC East rivals meet in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.
Washington starter Case Keenum (foot) didn’t participate in a walkthrough Wednesday after undergoing an MRI exam, reportedly walking around the team facility in a walking boot. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Keenum would get the start if at all possible, but conceded he’ll have to look at other options just in case.
Those options include veteran backup Colt McCoy — who has been out since breaking his leg late last season — or Haskins, the 15th overall pick in April’s draft out of Ohio State. With Washington off to an 0-3 start and already three games behind NFC East-leading Dallas, there is sentiment that it might as well begin Haskins’ developmental clock.
But Gruden sounded Wednesday like someone who might prefer a veteran — whether it’s Keenum or McCoy — to pilot the Redskins’ fourth attempt at their first win.
“We’ll evaluate everything (later in the week), see where Case is,” Gruden told reporters after the walkthrough. “I assume Case is going to be able to play. He’s a tough guy.”
Keenum has statistically been good, ranking fourth in the NFL with 311 passing yards per game and completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. But he also hurt Washington’s chances Monday night in a 31-15 home loss to Chicago by tossing three interceptions and losing two fumbles, more than negating 332 yards and two touchdowns.
McCoy, who broke his leg in December and hasn’t practiced fully in six weeks, was listed as a full participant on Wednesday’s injury report. But Haskins got most of the work during Wednesday’s walkthrough.
“We’ll just wait and see,” Gruden said about deciding on a starter. “We got a little ways to go before I make any crazy decisions.”
There are no decisions right now for New York coach Pat Shurmur regarding his starting quarterback. Jones, making his first career start in place of benched Eli Manning, was spectacular last week in a 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. He hit 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards and two scores while adding another two scores on the ground — including the go-ahead 7-yard run with 1:16 remaining as the Giants improved to 1-2.
However, there were teachable moments for the No. 6 overall selection from Duke. Jones lost a couple of fumbles, but they were forgiven somewhat in the glow of his performance.
“The main thing is ball security,” Jones told reporters. “I can’t afford to turn the ball over twice like that in critical points in the game. I think that’s the first thing. There are other things, specific to plays, that I look to correct and learn from, but I’m excited to do that.”
Jones will have to make those adjustments without Saquon Barkley around. The second-year running back from Penn State will miss the next four-to-eight weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered against the Buccaneers.
Barkley was off to another good start, rushing for more than 100 yards in losses to Dallas and Buffalo while adding 11 receptions in his two-plus games. Wayne Gallman will replace Barkley in the lineup.
“I view it as a big opportunity, an opportunity I’ve had since I’ve been in the league,” Gallman said. “It’s unfortunate for my brother to go out, but this is what I’ve prepared for, so I’m ready for it. I knew at some point he could get hurt, and I always have to be ready.”
—Field Level Media