Taylor Heinicke remains the man…for now
Ryan Fitzpatrick was having a pretty good offseason. He signed a 1-year $10 million contract and could have earned another $2 million in incentives. He entered training camp as the starter, and that status wasn’t challenged throughout the preseason. This was what he wanted, being the unquestioned starter heading into Week 1, with a team that brought him in to for that reason.
The Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment didn’t even last a half before he was injured. A Chargers defender burst through the line and took him down awkwardly. His knee landed hard and he suffered a hip subluxation. Fitzpatrick opted not to have surgery, and he was projected to miss 6-8 weeks which would have put his return after the team’s Week 9 or sooner if everything went perfectly in his rehab.
Things have not gone perfectly and now his return to the field is very much in question. Ian Rapoport reports that Fitzpatrick is still on crutches and is likely weeks away from a return. Head Coach Ron Rivera mentioned that he would be getting an MRI soon, and Rapoport reports that will likely happen next week.
Fitz has an MRI in the coming weeks — likely next week — but the belief is he won’t be able to return until at least after the Week 9 bye on Nov. 7. That means, at minimum, Fitz will miss two months of the season. And while all parties are hopeful he 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.
This means that Taylor Heinicke will remain the starter with Fitzpatrick staying on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time. Heinicke still has the coach’s confidence, but the team is 2-4, and the offense hasn’t been producing. Heinicke is 44 for 80 for 430 yards with 1 TD and 3 INTs over the last two weeks. Rivera was asked about possibly switching to backup Kyle Allen, and shut that idea down saying Heinicke is still developing. That could change if the team, and Heinicke, continue trending in the wrong direction.