WASHINGTON -- In the past three weeks, the Washington Redskins have gone from NFC East frontrunners to a quarterback graveyard likely to miss the playoffs all together. However, Colin Kaepernick is unlikely to make an appearance in Landover.
According to NBC Sports Washington Redskins Insider JP Finlay, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday that Kaepernick has “been talked about and discussed but [the Redskins] will probably go a different direction.”
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, when he made headlines for kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police violence against African Americans. His protest prompted many other players to follow suit.
The former second-round draft pick started 11 games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, throwing 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. He appeared in 69 games for the 49ers between 2011-2016, throwing 72 touchdowns and rushing for 13.
Despite his numbers, Kaepernick has not signed with another franchise since departing San Francisco. Teams have presumably avoided the quarterback either because of the media circus or non-football related distraction he would likely bring. In response, Kaepernick has filed a collusion lawsuit against the NFL that is ongoing.
The Redskins have not shied away from signing players that could be considered “distractions” off the field this season. On November 27, the organization claimed linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers three days after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Foster is currently on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, meaning he cannot practice or play in games.
However, Washington may be staying away from Kaepernick for a different reason. In 2016, owner Daniel Snyder donated $1 million to President Donald Trump’s inaugural festivities. Given the President has been vocally opposed to Kaepernick’s protest, the franchise’s disinterest could very well be political.
Regardless of whether Kaepernick is the Redskins’ best option or not, the team must address their quarterback situation quickly.
Washington lost backup Colt McCoy for the season in the first half of Monday night’s 28-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with a fractured fibula. The injury comes only two weeks after starting quarterback and major offseason acquisition Alex Smith was also lost for the season – perhaps longer – with a fractured fibula and tibia.
“I’m just heartbroken for the two quarterbacks we did lose, they put a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of heart into this football team in leading it,” Gruden said after Monday night’s loss.
Down two signal callers, Mark Sanchez has been thrust into the starting role only two weeks after the Redskins signed him.
“With respect to Alex and Colt I’ve got to do my very best to play well and help rally this team and figure out a way to win,” Sanchez said after Monday night’s game.
Sanchez went 13-for-21 for 100 yards and threw an interception in Washington’s loss in Philadelphia. It was his first NFL appearance since Jan. 1, 2017, when he was playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
“I feel like with this group and these coaches we’ll be able to handle anything,” Sanchez said.
The Redskins (6-6), with or without a new quarterback, will host the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon at 1:00. Washington toppled New York in the Meadowlands 20-13 in Week 8.