Case Keenum turned the ball over five times on Monday in a brutal performance against the Chicago Bears.
From his pick six to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to a baffling fourth-quarter fumble on a fourth-and-1 dive over the offensive line, the Washington Redskins quarterback was a disaster from start to finish in a 31-15 loss.
With Washington starting 0-3 and having little to play for this season, Keenum’s ugly night prompted questions about when Washington would hand over the keys to first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins.
The answer is not in the foreseeable future.
‘Gotta give Case an ample opportunity’
When asked about a potential change at quarterback, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters he’s sticking with Keenum.
“No really, no,” Gruden said when asked if he’d thought about starting Haskins. “I think the most important thing is we have to have some continuity. You know, I can’t be changing people every five minutes here.
“I’ve gotta give Case an ample opportunity to play with these new guys. This is his first time in this offense. We’re not gonna be perfect, but we need to be better. And I think we can get better. Otherwise if I didn’t think we had a chance to get better, I would make a change. But I feel like Case has the tools to become a very efficient quarterback in this offense and get us some victories here moving forward.”
Keenum is a known commodity
Aside from his single season with the Minnesota Vikings that saw him win 11 games as a starter in 2017, Keenum has done little in his career to inspire the kind of confidence Gruden is placing in him.
In Minnesota, he was surrounded by superior talent. In Washington, he is not. In Denver last season, he was not. With the Rams and Texans before Minnesota, he was not. And he did nothing to prove himself as a quarterback who can account for wins in any of those stops.
He’s a middling starter, at best, who’s better suited as an NFL backup.
Taking a chance on Haskins could actually benefit Gruden
But this isn’t about Keenum. It’s about Gruden, whose already hot seat was turned up a few notches during Monday’s loss to the Bears.
At this rate, he’ll be lucky to survive the season in Washington. And coaches coaching for their jobs don’t tend to instill their faith in rookie quarterbacks who don’t provide the best prospects of posting wins.
But sticking with Keenum clearly isn’t the path to victory.
It made perfect sense for Gruden to not throw Haskins to the wolves on Monday facing a double-digit deficit against a buzzsaw Bears defense. That’s no way to introduce a rookie quarterback to the league.
But for the sake of the team and his own employment prospects, rolling the dice on Haskins sooner than later is the prudent decision.
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