Ryan Fitzpatrick will play his first game for the Washington Football Team on Thursday. Washington head coach Ron Rivera revealed Sunday afternoon that Fitzpatrick and the first team offense will play in the preseason opener against the New England Patriots.
"What you're looking for is the command, the command of the offense, command of what's going on on the field and I think the respect of his teammates when he's on the field," Rivera said. "So, that's what we're really looking for. We want some success obviously, but the truth of the matter is, those things all come with time.
"This will be our first exposure, his first exposure as our first quarterback out there right now."
Fitzpatrick enters his 18th season in the league, playing well as he nears his 40s. Over the last three seasons, he completed 64.83% of his passes for 7,986 yards for 50 touchdowns to 33 interceptions in 32 games. Fitzpatrick's teams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins) are 11-14 in his 25 starts as he's challenged Jameis Winston and Tua Tagovailoa for starting jobs.
This time, Fitzpatrick is the unquestioned starter in Washington. The Football Team will have Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen compete for the No. 2 job. Rivera won't actually name the No. 2 yet, which makes Thursday's opener even more intriguing.
"I think it's a mix of those guys," Rivera said. "Kyle started to come on, he did tweak his bad ankle a little bit today. He's starting to come on and get back into the mix. We have three guys that we really truly like, and we like Steven Montez as a young developmental guy. This is a good situation for us.
"We have the makings, I think, of what could potentially be a solid foundation on offense. And we'll see how it molds together as we continue to go through camp. The first real test will be in a couple of weeks when we have our first preseason game. It'll be an opportunity to see where we are absolutely, but I do like the competition. I do like trying to create that and make sure the guys understand that that's what it's going to come down to which is not just who the one is, but who the two is as well."