Third-string Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins appeared in uniform for the first time in the 2021 season this past Sunday after Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out for their game against the Lions because of a positive COVID-19 test.
Haskins suited up in case the Steelers’ backup QB Mason Rudolph had to leave the game. But while Haskins was warming up before Sunday’s game, NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala overheard some of the Steelers coaches criticizing Haskins’ preparation.
“Look at that! How ridiculous is that? That’s just lazy,” Kinkhabwala overheard from unnamed coaches.
Excellent Steelers insider @AKinkhabwala on Dwayne Haskins pregame warmups on @937theFan. Said Steelers coaches observed Haskins get ready and remarked: “Look at that! How ridiculous is that? That’s just lazy.”
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) November 15, 2021
Kinkhabwala herself had commented on how “lazy” Haskins looked on the field, saying that he was throwing “lousy passes” and checking his phone between throws. The Steelers have not commented on Haskins since this happened.
Mason Rudolph has had 4 years to show who he is. Dwayne Haskins, ostensibly one play from his 1st game action yesterday, spent warm-ups throwing lousy passes & checking his phone. Ben Roethlisberger may not be who he once was, but there’s a reason he’s your QB, #Steelers fans. https://t.co/MyQYaMTqeb
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) November 15, 2021
Haskins only started 13 games in his two-year career in Washington. He threw for a total of 2,804 yards and 12 touchdowns. Haskins was signed by Pittsburgh on Jan. 21 after being released by Washington.
Haskins did play for the Steelers in the preseason this year. He played in four games versus the Cowboys, Eagles, Lions and Panthers. He totaled 379 passing yards with two touchdowns. He started their final game against the Panthers, resulting in a 34-9 loss. Coach Mike Tomlin was not happy about Haskins’ performance in that game.
“It wasn’t the performance he wanted or we wanted,” Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
There are multiple factors in determining whether Dwayne Haskins will ever again be an NFL starting QB, but using his cellphone on the field an hour before a game isn’t on that list.
— Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek) November 15, 2021
Rudolph is still expected to start for the Steelers on Sunday vs. the Chargers if Roethlisberger cannot complete two negative COVID-19 tests before then. Haskins will remain the backup to Rudolph.