Quarterback carousel continues in Washington
Fitzpatrick out, Heinicke to start Thursday night game against the Giants
Ryan Fitzpatrick is going on injured reserve with a hip injury, and Washington is turning to Taylor Heinicke to start at quarterback against the New York Giants on Thursday night.
Cam Newton is not walking through that door, and neither is Robert Griffin III. This is Heinicke’s and Kyle Allen’s show for the foreseeable future, and coach Ron Rivera does not plan on bringing in a veteran quarterback any time soon. “We like the guys that we have,” Rivera said Monday. “We’ve had them play for us. They’ve done some good things for us, so we’ll see what happens.”
Heinicke will be the 10th quarterback to start a regular-season game for Washington since releasing Griffin in 2016. Despite RG3 tweeting, “Make the call” and a clip of his 76-yard touchdown run from his rookie year in 2012, a return of the former face of the franchise turned ESPN analyst is not in Rivera’s plans.
The plan is to have Heinicke start, Allen back up and Kyle Shurmur serve as the emergency third option.
Heinicke was originally brought in last season as Washington’s “quarantine quarterback” after Denver was forced to start a wide receiver because of virus protocols. He quickly went from out of football and taking college classes online to making a surprise playoff start in place of injured veteran Alex Smith — and almost pulling off a stunning comeback against the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He threw for 306 yards and a touchdown in the wild-card round but also separated his left shoulder diving for the pylon. Allen is coming off surgery to repair a broken left ankle.
Rivera hopes Heinicke has matured and understands his job, which is crucial after Washington lost Fitzpatrick a quarter and a half into the season opener Sunday against the L.A. Chargers. It did not look good when Fitzpatrick was helped to his feet and went right back down, and tests confirmed a right hip subluxation — an injury in which the ball of the hip comes out of the socket. He will see a specialist for a second opinion. Going on injured reserve means he will miss at least the next three games.