The 2021 regular season is only two weeks old and the Washington Football Team has already started two different quarterbacks.
This has been a familiar theme with Washington fans over the last few seasons. Look no further than the last three years.
During that span, the likes of Alex Smith (16), Josh Johnson (three), Colt McCoy (three), Mark Sanchez (one), Case Keenum (eight), Dwayne Haskins (13) and Kyle Allen (four) have started under center for the WFT in the regular season.
That number grew on Thursday night, as Taylor Heinicke made his third career start after Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip subluxation) was placed on injured reserve this week and given a 6-8 week return timetable.
That leaves Kyle Allen as the lone backup. Given his and Heinicke’s injury history, fans have been clamoring for Washington to sign another insurance option.
Cam Newton has been mentioned as a target, but Ron Rivera has refuted any speculation of a potential reunion. Why is that?
Why is Ron Rivera so adamant about not signing Cam Newton?
In our eyes, it comes down to one of three things. Either Rivera believes Newton is nearing the end of the road and doesn’t have much left to offer as a starting quarterback in the NFL. There’s also the possibility that the Football Team is so bullish on Heinicke that they’ve deemed it unnecessary to bring in another QB.
And finally, there’s Newton vaccination status to consider. We know that’s a polarizing topic, but put yourself in Rivera’s shoes for a moment.
Why would Rivera, who recently completed a lengthy battle with quamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer, sign a backup quarterback who could land on the COVID list at the drop of a hat and miss up to a week quarantining away from the team simply because he isn’t vaccinated?
Rivera has strong feelings about folks who are opposed to receiving the vaccine, and rightly so given his medical history. During an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post, here’s what Rivera had to say about the “anti-vaxxer philosophy.”
"“…I struggle with that. Especially in my circumstances, my situations. I got my cancer through no control of my own. And what really kinda tweaks me is I got it from a virus, and back in the day, there was not a vaccine that could help prevent this virus. Today, there is a vaccine that could prevent the HPV virus. … I didn’t have that option.”"
What do we think? Well, it’s probably a combination of a confidence in Heinicke, a lack of faith in Newton given how he performed with the Patriots last season — and was released after he lost the starting job to rookie Mac Jones — and the fact that Newton isn’t vaccinated, which might just be the biggest reason of the three.
Rivera’s stance on the matter could change if Heinicke doesn’t perform up to snuff, but right now it’s fair to say that a reunion between the former successful head coach-quarterback duo is out of the question.