Redskins rookie QB Dwayne Haskins will start vs. Bills

It's Haskins time in D.C.

Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins will make his first career start for the Washington Redskins on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, coach Bill Callahan announced Friday.

"We've seen him progress throughout the week, and I think that's the big thing is his improvement from day to day from situation to situation, from drill to drill, you see nothing but a locked-in focus," Callahan said. "We're encouraged, we're very encouraged."

Veteran Colt McCoy will be the backup. Starter Case Keenum remains in concussion protocol after getting injured in the first half of last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Haskins has looked uber-shaky in two relief appearances thus far -- zero touchdowns and four INTs. Last week, he completed 3-of-5 attempts for 33 yards, threw one ghastly interception, and was sacked twice on four drives in two quarters. The Ohio State product looked shook, but getting inserted in the middle of a tilt on primetime against a very good defense has a way of bringing out the worst in young quarterbacks.

Perhaps getting the start will help calm Haskins, but it will be no easy task against a Bills defense that ranks sixth against the pass according to Football Outsiders' metrics, and has given up the third-fewest yards through the air.

Haskins struggles in his relief appearances underscored the coaching staffs -- both Jay Gruden and Callahan -- believing the rookie wasn't yet ready to start. Haskins looked frantic at times in the pocket, often overthrew receivers, and was slow through his progressions. There were moments Haskins flashed the big arm and playmaking ability that made him a first-round pick. We haven't seen it consistently enough yet, however.

The only way to learn is to ride through the growing pains. After keeping him on the shelf early, the Redskins are finally ready to give their rookie the reins and hop aboard the rollercoaster that is sure to come.

"Win. That's all I'm looking for is a win," Callahan said. "We all are as a team. That's success, it's a win. So it doesn't matter how it comes what form, what fashion. Win, that's the name of the game. However we do it, whether we throw deep, throw short, throw long, throw screens, throw quick game, whatever it may take. We'll do whatever we can to win."

Given Callahan's affection for the run, Haskins' youth and the Bills getting gashed on the ground by the Eagles last week, expect Washington to dial up Adrian Peterson all day.

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