Entering his eighth season in the NFL, is time running out for Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum to leave a lasting impression on other potential suitors?
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As the 2019 NFL preseason unfolds over the course of the next four weeks, training camp position battles will turn into depth chart realities for quite a few players. For quarterbacks who manage to stick around, those realities come in the form of either starting gigs or backup roles. Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum is stuck in between the two — and has been for years.
Keenum’s career has been a rollercoaster of many ups and downs. Compiling a 9-15 record from 2012 to 2016 while throwing 24 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in the process, it seemed as if he was destined to be a career backup. All of that changed in 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings when Keenum was handed the reins to the offense.
Leading Minnesota to an 11-3 regular season record and a trip to the NFC Championship, Keenum’s impressive season ended on a sour note and subsequently, he signed with the Denver Broncos in free agency. Making it just halfway through his two-year commitment with the team, Keenum threw for 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 16 games as a Bronco. Winning just six of them, general manager John Elway elected to part ways with Keenum at the beginning of the offseason.
Signing a one-year, $3.5 million contract with Washington this offseason, the 31-year-old Keenum is at a career crossroads. Having served as both a backup and starter in the past, the former University of Houston star may be running out of time to convince teams to take a chance on him long-term.
Current starter Colt McCoy is still recovering from a leg injury suffered last season, so he’ll sit out the Redkins’ first preseason game vs. the Cleveland Browns. Per Pro Football Talk, Keenum wasn’t even aware he was listed behind McCoy on the depth chart:
“It’s news to me. Whatever reps I’m getting, I’m getting ready to play. That’s hands-down what I’m doing. [The depth chart] is for you guys to talk about. I’m not going to change what I do and how I approach each day.”
Slated to take the field with the starters on Thursday evening, Keenum will have all eyes on him. With McCoy’s loyalty to the Redskins franchise and rookie Dwayne Haskins‘ undeniable talent (and draft slot) working against him, the veteran has his work cut out for him.
Then again, Keenum is no stranger to waiting for his number to be called. He did so for years before getting his first big shot in Minnesota. With all 31 other NFL teams keeping tabs on opposing quarterbacks’ performance in the preseason, this could be the final opportunity Keenum gets to prove he’s worthy of a starting job.
At the very least, Case Keenum is a seasoned veteran with the ability to start in a pinch and/or serve as a top-flight backup. Whether or not he’s able to be any more than that depends on how he performs moving forward.