NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala doubled down on her reporting on Steelers QB Dwayne Haskins’ lazy warmups from Sunday after facing some blowback.
The NFL insider tweeted on Monday that Haskins — who entered Sunday’s Lions game as the backup to Mason Rudolph with Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID-19/reserve list — spent the warmup period “throwing lousy passes and checking his phone,” leading to derision from his coaches.
However, some questioned whether Kinkhabwala’s reporting was fair. Ex-NFL player and current Fox Sports analyst Bucky Brooks suggested it was possible Haskins was picking music to “help find [his] ‘zone’” before the game.
Kinkhabwala, however, shut down those suggestions.
“It’s of course possible, Bucky,” she tweeted. “But it just so happens I was standing next to multiple members of the team’s staff who were pointing out his lack of focus, his sub-par warm-up passes and their disappointment in his maturation. That’s why I tried to illustrate: he’s not the savior.”
Haskins has yet to appear in a regular-season game for the Steelers since the team picked him up at the end of the 2020 season. He was cut by Washington less than two years after the team selected him in the first round of the 2019 draft, with maturity and work ethic concerns being the main reason.
Theoretically, Haskins could have gotten into the Steelers’ 16-16 tie against the Lions, during which Mason Rudolph struggled against the third-worst defense in terms of points allowed per game. With Roethlisberger set to return soon from the COVID list, it seems unlikely that Haskins will get another chance this season — and perhaps ever.
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