Shocked, devasted, heartbroken—the NFL and its millions of fans felt all these emotions Saturday after learning Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was struck and killed by a car, dying a month shy of what would have been his 25th birthday. News of Haskins’ death was confirmed by his agent, Cedric Saunders.
A Heisman Trophy finalist and all-conference selection during his three-year stint at Ohio State (where he was also named Rose Bowl MVP), the Potomac, Maryland native arrived in the NFL as a first-round pick—15th overall—of the Washington Commanders in 2019. Haskins was cut after two seasons with Washington, but quickly caught on with Pittsburgh, spending last season as a backup to veteran Ben Roethlisberger. Haskins had been in South Florida training for the upcoming 2022 season with many of his Steelers teammates.
Members of the NFL community took to Twitter Saturday to mourn the loss of Haskins, sharing heartfelt tributes and memories of a bright talent taken far too soon. Haskins, who was expected to begin 2022 as Pittsburgh’s third-string quarterback behind Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph, totaled 13 touchdowns (12 passing, one rushing) and 14 interceptions over 16 NFL appearances including 13 starts, all with Washington.
Though Haskins didn’t develop into the NFL star many had anticipated, his remarkable 2018 will go down as one of the greatest individual seasons in Ohio State history, setting Buckeyes records for both passing yards (4,831) and touchdowns (50). Haskins’ 499 passing yards against Northwestern stood as the most in school history until C.J. Stroud threw for a record 573 in January’s Rose Bowl. Notably, Haskins beat out Joe Burrow (now of the Cincinnati Bengals) for the Buckeyes’ starting job, prompting Burrow’s transfer to LSU.
Cardale Jones, Haskins’ predecessor at Ohio State, was critical of a tweet posted by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, feeling it was in poor taste to acknowledge Haskins’ NFL struggles on the day of his passing. Schefter's former ESPN colleague, Josina Anderson, expressed a similar sentiment.
Friday morning, Haskins shared an Instagram story joking around with teammate Najee Harris. A day later, he left us. Haskins’ tragic death should serve as a stark reminder of the preciousness of life and to make every day count because tomorrow is never promised.