Dwayne Haskins stripped of captaincy, reportedly fined $40K for maskless party outing

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been stripped of his captaincy and reportedly fined $40,000 for attending a party without wearing a mask following Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The outing was reportedly at a strip club, but Haskins denied that to reporters, saying it was a private birthday party.

Alex Smith will get the start against the Carolina Panthers in Week 16, coach Ron Rivera said on Wednesday, but if he can’t play due to a calf injury Haskins will get the nod.

Rivera: Haskins no longer captain

Rivera said he spoke with Haskins after photos of him celebrating circulated around social media. He informed the young star he would no longer be a team captain. Teammates voted the second-year leader to captain during training camp.

Haskins apologized for the actions on Tuesday and took “full accountability for putting the team at risk.” Attending an indoor night club without a mask is considered a high-risk activity, per the NFL and NFLPA protocols during COVID-19. The person who posted the video went private after posting and it has mostly been taken down.

Dwayne Haskins.
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins will no longer wear the "C" for captain after a maskless strip club visit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Team reportedly fines Haskins $40K for maskless adventure

Rivera told reporters he and the team felt a monetary fine was in line with the standards set around the league.

Haskins did not disclose the amount and wanted to instead move on to talking about the Panthers matchup. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported the fine to be $40,000.

It’s the largest known individual player fine for a COVID-19 violation. A group of Las Vegas Raiders player were reportedly each docked up to $30,000 in October for attending a charity event without masks.

Haskins is set to make approximately $1.2 million this season, per Spotrac. The amount is about 60 percent of his weekly pay check.

It’s the second violation of COVID-19 protocol for Haskins. He was fined $4,833 in October after making a reservation for a family friend at the hotel he was staying. They reportedly did not come into contact, but the move did violate protocols.

Haskins: It wasn’t a strip club

Haskins was not scheduled to speak to reporters after practice on Wednesday, but asked if he could read a statement and take questions, per Kimberley A. Martin at ESPN. He said he accepted and deserved his punishment and called the incident “self-provoked.”

Haskins apologized again for the visit and said he would “do everything in my power to make the most of my second chance.” He said he was at a birthday party with his girlfriend, but now realizes he shouldn’t have gone and “put the team at risk.”

He also said he wasn’t at a strip club, but rather a private event, and broke the rule requiring the wearing of a mask while in a public setting with more than 10 people. He said he has so far tested negative for COVID-19. Health authorities believe the incubation period for the virus is between 2 and 14 days.

Haskins could start for Washington vs. Panthers

Despite the incident, Haskins could get the start in Week 16. Smith injured his calf before Washington’s win against the San Francisco 49ers and missed last week’s game. He could return against the Panthers, but if not then Washington would be down to practice squad quarterbacks Taylor Heinicke or Steven Montez.

Haskins took some first-team reps during practice on Wednesday and Rivera said part of the reason he was back was because he was honest about the situation, per Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic.

A first-round pick in the 2019 draft, Haskins’ time in Washington has been bumpy. He was benched after 11 starts and got the nod last week only because Smith and Kyle Allen are injured. Hours later he was caught clearly breaching league rules and putting teammates in potential danger.

He said Wednesday he could be on his last chance, “but when you get a chance you have to make the most of it.”

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