The Washington Football Team’s season ended after Saturday’s wild card playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite the loss, the team’s future looks promising with a solid young core, featuring one of the NFL’s best defensive lines. However, Washington has one glaring hole — quarterback.
While addressing the media Sunday, head coach Ron Rivera acknowledged quarterback is “one of the most important things that we need to get done and get established” going forward, according to Kyle Stackpole of the team’s website.
Rivera added he’ll meet with owner Dan Snyder soon to discuss his plans to address quarterback and the general manager opening.
Washington started four different quarterbacks in 2020. Dwayne Haskins, Washington’s 2019 first-round pick, started the first four games. But he was benched after poor play in favor of Kyle Allen. Unfortunately, Allen’s season came to abrupt end after dislocating and fracturing his ankle in his fourth start.
Alex Smith, who missed all of 2019 after suffering a gruesome leg injury in 2018, took the reigns. He started six games and had the most success going 5-1 as a starter. However, a calf injury to the same injured leg staggered his season and forced him to miss Saturday’s loss to the Buccaneers.
Insert Taylor Heinicke, who Washington signed off the streets in December. He was thrust into action as Smith was hobbled and Haskins struggled through two more additional starts. Following the release of Haskins and Smith leading Washington to a Week 17 NFC East-clinching win, Heinicke started against the Buccaneers in place of the injured Smith. It was just Heinicke’s second NFL start.
Despite the loss, Heinicke stole the show the spotlight with 352 total yards and two touchdowns, including a thrilling touchdown run.
Moving forward, there’s a lot to unpack for Washington this offseason at quarterback. Was one epic game by Heinicke enough to give him a shot in 2021? What about Smith? Will he retire? He’s been an incredible story but how much more does he have at the age of 36 with a major injury?
Allen is expected to be recovered from his ankle injury in time for training camp. What about him? Will Ron Rivera be intrigued by a better long-term option in the draft, a trade or in free agency?