The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the start of organized team activities (OTAs) Tuesday with many key players still reflecting on the loss of quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Haskins was in Florida training with Steelers teammates at the time of his death last month when he was struck and killed by a dump truck on a highway.
Haskins, who signed a one-year restricted free agent tender this offseason, was expected to compete for the starting job in Pittsburgh following veteran Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had invited Haskins to train with teammates in Florida only after knowing him for a short time. On Tuesday, he called the death of his former teammate “heartbreaking.”
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“I think about him every day,” Trubisky said, via USA Today. “I only knew him for a short time, but he definitely left an impact on my life the short time that I knew him. I think about him every day, when I wake up, step on the field, all those things. He’s in our hearts, and all we can do is honor him every day in how we live our lives. “
The Steelers offered Haskins a second chance when they signed him to a one-year deal in 2021. He served as a third-string quarterback behind both Mason Rudolph and Roethlisberger.
“As competitors, sometimes it can be awkward, as you guys know, but he was a good teammate to me and everybody, and I’m still kind of adjusting to him not ever going to be in the quarterback room again,” said Rudolph . “It’s sad and hard to wrap your head around. Death is hard, and we’re trying to move on as best as we can.”
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Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, who the Steelers selected No. 31 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, also talked about Haskins after practice Tuesday, describing the loss as “really different.”
“Dwayne – it’s just unfortunate,” Heyward said, via the outlet. “It’s really different. I never thought we’d be in this situation. I think more about his family than just us. Football, you move on, but family is even tougher. He was part of this community. He was only here not even that long, but everyone felt his presence, and we’ll miss him. “
On Monday, an autopsy revealed Haskins was legally drunk when he was struck and killed on the highway.
Haskins, who died just weeks before his 25th birthday, had a blood alcohol content of .20 at the time of his death – nearly 2.5 times the legal limit for driving in the state of Florida, according to the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office.
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The report also noted traces of ketamine and norketamine in his system, painkillers that are prescribed by a doctor but have been known to be abused recreationally.
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report