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How To Watch: Chargers at Washington - Who's Healthy?

The Washington Football Team hosts the Los Angeles Chargers for its 2021-22 season opener.

The biggest question out of Washington this week is if wide receiver Curtis Samuel will play against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday's Week 1 NFL opener. Samuel isn't practicing, yet coach Ron Rivera feels comfortable with whatever the outcome will be.

"If Curtis plays, great, and if he doesn't, great, because we have a lot of confidence in the other guys," Rivera said.

READ MORE: Latest on Samuel Injury

While the NFC East champions are back in action, the team has a more difficult path this season than last, as Washington faces four reigning division champs (Buffalo, New Orleans, Kansas City, and Green Bay) in the first seven weeks of the season. Washington's first matchup doesn't start easy, either, as it'll be going up against the Chargers "hot" offense, with reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year quarterback Justin Herbert, star running back Austin Ekeler, and star wide receiver Keenan Allen. 

If Washington wants to win this Sunday, the front seven will need to disrupt Herbert and the secondary must take advantage of Herbert's mistakes while under pressure. More importantly, Washington's offense needs to to figure out its identity under quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Washington's offense needs fewer three-and-outs and more well-spent time on the field, so the defense doesn't have to "carry" the team. 

Washington last played the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, where the burgundy and gold took away a 17-point loss. Washington last defeated the Chargers eight years ago, when the Chargers were still located in San Diego.

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When: Sunday, September 12, 1 p.m.

Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland

Television: CBS

Radio: The Team 980/WMAL 105.9

Stream: NFL Game Pass

Name to watch - QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: 17 years in the NFL and now on his ninth NFL team, Fitzpatrick will be making his regular-season debut as starting quarterback in Washington. While he made a few "wow" throws in the preseason, he still has much chemistry to build with his new offense. He needs to play smart on the field and not hurt his team with turnovers. If so, Washington's potential on offense could turn out to be very explosive - even if Samuel cannot go.

READ MORE: Your Washington Football Team Captains for 2021