With a 7-9 regular season record, the Washington Football Team emerged as NFC East division champions in spite of a hectic quarterback situation in which Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins, and Kyle Allen each made multiple starts for the franchise in 2020.
Not in a position to draft a potential franchise QB in the 2021 NFL Draft, the team ultimately decided to sign ultimate journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal this offseason. While a seasoned veteran like “Fitzmagic” is assumed to have the inside track to the starting job, lurking is Taylor Heinicke, who dazzled in his lone start against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in last year’s NFC Wild Card round. Could the presence of Heinicke make for an interesting battle for the next few weeks?
Latest camp news
Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported last Thursday that Heinicke has struggled with accuracy and quick-decision making while Fitzpatrick has been consistent and even wowed spectators with a no-look pass. All signs are pointing towards the veteran QB being the week one starter but head coach Ron Rivera has maintained that it’s still an open competition, reflecting a desire for Fitzpatrick to earn the job versus last year when he named Haskins the starter early.
Current DraftKings Sportsbook odds
Ryan Fitzpatrick to take first snap of 2021 regular season:
- Yes (-900)
- No (+500)
Next preseason game: at the New England Patriots
Washington will travel to New England to open the preseason on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET and Rivera indicated that Fitzpatrick and the first-team offense will play an unspecified amount during the contest. He wants the veteran to gain a command of the position and get in sync with the one’s.
Pre-Week 1 preseason prediction
Barring injury, there is no doubt that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the WFT starter come Week 1. Heinicke is being prepared as a viable backup option just in case things break down for the team like it did last year but this is Fitz’s job to lose.
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