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WFT Daily: Kyle Allen's Elevator Pitch

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Quarterback Kyle Allen runs for a touchdown in the Washington Football Team's game against the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 11, 2020. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

The 2020 season is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team progresses through its inaugural campaign under head coach Ron Rivera.

Stay up to date with "WFT Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.

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Kyle Allen understands the NFL is a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" league. As an undrafted free agent, he has always had to be ready for his opportunity.

That preparation helped Allen become the Washington Football Team's starting quarterback, but he believes his competitiveness will lead to winning games.

"It just means a lot to me, man. I think that's why you see me [dive] on 3rd-and-1 and stick my nose in there and try to go get it because it really does mean that much to me. I'm always going to compete no matter where we're at, what the standings are, what the score is. This is all I play the game for is competing. It's every day in practice, it's every day in walk throughs, it's whatever. It's all about competing."

Allen understands the circumstances; Washington has one win in five games, and its offense is ranked near the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category.

But he also sees opportunity. Washington is 1-0 in the NFC East standings entering three straight division games. After a difficult start, the schedule lightens up over the next several weeks.

That's partly why head coach Ron Rivera made a quarterback switch following the Ravens' game. Not only has Allen played in Scott Turner's offensive system, but he's won games for Rivera before. He's betting on Allen to do the same in Washington, and Allen's competitiveness is a big reason why.

"I think the guys know that he's competitive," Rivera said when asked what makes Allen successful. "I think that's probably the biggest thing is that they feel his competitiveness. Kyle really is all about ball. He studies the game, he knows the game, he works at the game. He's hard on himself and the players see it. His teammates feel it. He's a guy that really enjoys the competition, and I think that's kind of the thing that spills over."

Sometimes, Allen's competitiveness can be detrimental, like when he dove for a first down in the second quarter against the Rams. Trailing, 20-7, he felt the offense needed a spark before halftime. And while he moved the chains, he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out the rest of the game.

Fortunately, he was a full participant during Wednesday's practice, solidifying him as the starter for Week 6 in New York. He knows he needs to protect himself better, but it is not going to stop him from trying to do everything in his power to help the team win.

"We're working through a lot right now. There's a lot of things we have to change. There's a lot of things we need to get better at," Allen said. "But I think if you have that mindset collectively around the building from everybody—as long as you're going to compete, as long as you're going to give it everything you've got -- the people that do that are going to stick around. You're going to find the people that do that consistently and the people that do that great and you're going to build that culture that Coach Rivera is so good at doing."

QUICK HITS

-- Brandon Scherff returns to practice: While still on Injured Reserve, All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff returned to practice Wednesday. The team now has 21 days to activate him.

For this year only, NFL teams are allowed to activate players off Injured Reserve after a minimum of three weeks instead of the usual eight. Washington is taking advantage of this temporary rule with Scherff, who was placed on IR with a knee injury Sept. 22. He's missed the past three games.

Rivera did not reveal if Scherff would be activated before Sunday's game against the New York Giants, but he said Scherff had a "good day" in limited action.

"He had a number of reps that we had set for him, he took those reps, he looked good. We'll see how he is tomorrow morning. One thing that I want you guys to understand: when a guy is on the injury report and he practices, no matter how he practices, the next thing that's important is how he is the next morning."

-- Washington has second-easiest remaining schedule: Rivera said the team's mindset through five games is "disappointment," but there is reason to believe Washington can turn it around.

Washington's next seven weeks are as follows: at the Giants (0-5), vs. the Cowboys (2-3), bye week, vs. the Giants, at the Lions (2-3), vs. the Bengals (1-2-1) and at the Cowboys. According to ESPN NFL analyst Mike Clay, Washington has the second-easiest remaining schedule in the entire NFL.

Plus, if Washington can win two of its next three division games, it'll be in position to contend in a struggling NFC East entering the second half of the season.

"We've struggled, we're 1-4 -- that's never where you want to be -- but at the end of the day, if you just sit back and look at everything, we're still in a great spot, thankfully," Allen said. "We have three games against division opponents coming up, this one being the most important, but...if we can take it game by game and do our jobs and come out with some wins, I think it would set us up great for the rest of the season."

-- Alex Smith's struggles not indicative of overall play: An inept offensive performance diminished Alex Smith's remarkable return Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. After coming in late in the first half, Smith finished 9-of-17 for 37 yards for an offense that did not record a first down after halftime.

Offensive coordinator Scott Turner said Smith has looked great in practice, moving well and finding his targets downfield. He added that Sunday's performance was not indicative of Smith's overall level of play for several reason."

"We got to protect better, obviously it was a torrential downpour for most of the time that he was in, and there were other issues involved."

INJURY REPORT

Check out the injury report for Washington's game against the Giants, HERE.

The Washington Football team held practice at the Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia, on Oct. 14, 2020. (Photos courtesy of Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team & Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

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