The Washington Football Team is one of a few teams in the NFL that must address the quarterback position this offseason.
While Taylor Heinicke is a great story, it’s become evident that his ceiling is a top-tier backup. At this point, he makes enough plays to command fans’ respect, but he also makes too many mistakes to be trusted as a weekly starter.
That’s the worst part about this season. Though we can’t speak for most fans, we aren’t even curious about Heinicke anymore. He’s fun to watch, but it’s likely that Ryan Fitzpatrick will assume the starting role when he’s ready to return.
Speaking of Fitzpatrick, is he on track in his recovery from his hip injury?
Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the veteran QB’s hip is taking longer than expected to heal and is still multiple weeks away from returning to the field.
Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return has been delayed.
When Fitzpatrick went down in Week 1, it was expected that the’d miss between six to eight weeks. Well, it’s been six weeks and he’s not close to where he needs to be to be. In fact, Rapoport reported that Fitz is still on crutches (!) around the facility.
The plan is for the 17-year pro to undergo a follow-up MRI in two weeks, after which he will be further evaluated by the organization. It looks like it’ll be the Heinicke show for the foreseeable future, folks.
Fitzpatrick is obviously out for Sunday’s game against Denver. After that, Washington has their bye, meaning the earliest he can return is Week 10 against the Buccaneers. Based on the tone of the report, though, that might be wishful thinking.
If fans in Ashburn needed more of a reason to feel sick to their stomach, check out this quote from Rapoport at the end of his column:
“And while all parties are hopeful he (Fitzpatrick) will return this season, the rehab has gone slower than expected, and it is not a certainty that he makes it back onto the field at all.”
Well, that’s a morbid way of looking at it.
This is exactly the news Washington fans didn’t need to hear following the team’s third consecutive defeat.
The fan base has held out hope that Fitzpatrick would return within his expected timetable and help jumpstart an offense that, while it’s moved the ball with Heinicke under center, has been rendered inept in the red zone.
In seven games (six starts) with Fitz on the shelf, Heinicke has completed 64.3% of his passes for an average of 236.9 yards per contest and 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions. Those numbers equate to an 86.8 passer rating, which ranks 24th among qualified quarterbacks this year.
Over the last three games, though, Heincike has logged a 68.2 passer rating. During that span, Washington’s offense has scored just 45 points, good for the 25th-best mark in the league.
With Fitzpatrick likely out for the next two weeks (possibly the next month), the offense is going to sink or swim with Heinicke under center.