The Washington Football Team dropped their season-opener vs the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday and they only have themselves to blame.
From the defenses inability to get off the field on third down — the Chargers were 14-for-19 in such situations — Antonio Gibson’s costly fumble, and a lack of cutting edge from the passing game, it’s no surprise Washington lost.
However, the big takeaway from the game was Ryan Fitzpatrick’s injury.
With just a few minutes remaining in the first half, Fitz stayed down after taking a monstrous hit from Uchenna Nwosu. He ultimately walked off the field under his own power before being ruled out for the game with a right hip injury.
Fitzpatrick will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury, but the initial fear is that he suffered a hip subluxation and will miss multiple weeks, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a serious hip injury on Sunday. Where does the Football Team go from here?
The good news is that Taylor Heinicke is one of the finest backup quarterbacks in the league and looked as advertised coming in relief of Fitzpatrick. In a little over two quarters, Heinicke was 11-of-15 for 122 yards and a touchdown (119.3 passer rating), adding 17 rushing yards on three carries.
Heinicke’s ability to extend plays with his legs — even though he tries to do too much at times — took the Chargers’ defense out of its rhythm, so that’ll be a huge advantage in the weeks to come without Fitzpatrick.
If Week 1 was any indication, don’t be surprised if Washington’s aerial attack has more bite to it with Heinicke calling the shots.
However, what about the options behind Heinicke? After releasing Steven Montez prior to the roster deadline, only Kyle Allen remains. Per Rapoport, the Football Team is content with Heinicke and Allen as their quarterbacks…though another unforeseen injury could spring them into action in terms of looking for outside help.
As far as free agent QBs are concerned, here’s what we’re looking at:
- Cam Newton (!)
- Blake Bortles
- Nick Mullens
- Brett Hundley
The rest are mostly practice squad options, so the free agent pickings, save Newton, are extremely slim right now. In other words, don’t expect Ron Rivera or GM Martin Mayhew to make any moves unless one of Heinicke or Allen suffers an injury.
Having said that, given Allen’s injury history and Henicke’s tendency to scramble and take unnecessary hits, we wouldn’t be surprised if Washington has already made a shortlist of potential QBs they could sign.
Of course, all of this hinges on Fitzpatrick’s MRI, so stay tuned.