Bill Callahan’s first starting quarterback with the Redskins will be the player his predecessor, Jay Gruden, benched two weeks before. On Friday, Callahan announced that Case Keenum, the team’s starter for the first four games, will start again this Sunday in Miami, though he did not commit to Keenum beyond this weekend.
“He was the starter and the captain,” Callahan said in making the announcement.
He later called the choice: “A no-brainer.”
First round pick Dwayne Haskins will be the backup, which means last week’s starter, Colt McCoy, probably won’t dress for the Dolphins game.
Keenum won the starting job at the end of training camp, when McCoy suffered complications from three offseason leg surgeries and had to stop practicing. He started well, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles and another 220 yards and two more touchdowns against the Cowboys. But he had four turnovers and sprained his ankle in the Monday night loss to the Bears. Though he started the team’s fourth game at the New York Giants, he was pulled in the second quarter and replaced by Haskins after throwing for just 37 yards.
Keenum also has missed or did not make throws to wide open receivers that might have led to touchdowns in his four games.
With McCoy, a favorite of former coach Jay Gruden, finally healthy enough to start last week’s game against New England and pressure growing from outside to play Haskins, it seemed that Keenum might not play again this season.
Keenum climbed back to the top of the depth chart with Callahan’s arrival, however. He practiced with the first team this week and after telling Callahan his ankle will hold up was anointed the starter.
Keenum has completed 92 of 135 passes for 977 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. Despite his recent struggles, he still has a high passer rating of 93.8.
When asked what he liked best about Keenum, Callahan said: “Just his demeanor on the field and around the building. He’s a first one in and the last one out kind of guy, always watching film, always inquisitive.”
On Monday, during his introductory news conference Callahan said Haskins still isn’t ready to start.
“Not right now, but he will be at some point in time,” Callahan said at the time. “We’re going to continue to develop him and heighten his maturation process and try to get him on schedule so that he is prepared.”
Callahan said McCoy’s leg has held up well after playing his first game in nearly a year.