Publish date:

Should WFT Regret Passing on Chargers' QB Herbert?

With Ryan Fitzpatrick now out, does Ron Rivera wish for a draft do-over?

The Washington Football Team's tight end Logan Thomas likely said it best late Sunday afternoon. Last season, WFT started four different quarterbacks due to injuries on the way to a 7-9 season.

In Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, two quarterbacks saw action. The reason? Injuries. 

"Same old story," Thomas bemoaned after the game, "just like year."

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the veteran journeyman set to be the starter for Washington all season, is sidelined for 6-8 weeks or maybe more. The Fitzmagic from 2020 won't be making an appearance for a while. 

READ MORE: Chargers Over WFT, 20-16 - What Went Wrong?

A hip injury resulting from a poor block from an offensive tackle caused that. Welcome to another long season in D.C., WFT fans.

For now, this is Taylor Heinicke's team. Here's hoping he can have similar success over the next 16 games as he did during the NFC Wild Card game.

But maybe it didn't have to be this way. Should one decision had been made, perhaps Washington isn't in this mess to begin with. After all, the solution for a long-term quarterback was on display last week at FedEx Field.

Chargers' quarterback Justin Herbert did his part to not only beat WFT, but also prompt hindsight. On the final drive alone, he completed a 19-yard pass on third-and-16, then went back to the air for a 22-yard connection on third-and-7.

No surprise. That drive was the one to seal a win. It's also led to conversations on if WFT was right to pass on the Oregon sensation in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"You have an idea, but after you see them, it confirms it," WFT coach Ron Rivera said. "The thing that was legit, really, is who Justin Herbert is. He's a heck of a quarterback."

In the Charger's season-opening win, Herbert finished 31 of 47 for 337 passing yards and a touchdown. He consistently picked up third-down conversions and kept the ball away from WFT's offense.

READ MORE: Washington - 3 Losses in 1 Game

Recommended Articles

RGxNYVVuLMlj_xNOIexDA6gcK_1440x960
Play

Too Soon to Consider Taylor Heinicke WFT's 'Franchise' QB?

One clutch drive and one rally over an NFC East rival has fans convinced they've found their QB of the future

Chase Young
Play

Rivera Reveals What Washington D is Missing

Winning buys some time, but a tough match-up in Week 3 requires answers

Terry McLaurin and Taylor Heinicke
Play

LISTEN: Is WFT Offense Underrated?

Locked On Washington: Washington Football Team Friday Analysis After Beating New York Giants 30-29

He looked the part of a franchise QB — and Washington could have easily nabbed him for the next decade.

In 2020, WFT was on the clock with the No. 2 selection. They elected to go with pass-rusher extraordinaire Chase Young, while trusting that second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins would eventually figure things out. 

Herbert went four picks later after being also passed by the Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. The rest was history and boy, is history looking good in L.A.

Not that WFT is dissatisfied with the beast that is Young, but Herbert set the NFL rookie touchdown passing record and took home Offensive Rookie of the Year. Young finished with 7.5 sacks and won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Both look like potential long-term hardware winners thus far into their short careers. 

READ MORE: How 'Serious' Is Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Hip Injury?

The difference, however, is that teams live or die by quarterback play. It's why Washington is still questioning what to do under center and Los Angeles's franchise star hasn't even hit his stride.

Henicke played well enough to win last Sunday. He finished 11 of 15 passing for 122 yards and produced the team's lone touchdown on a throw to Thomas. He posted a passer rating of 119.3 through two-and-half quarters of play. 

"I think that gave us a little bit of a spark when we needed it," Rivera said. "It was good to see. We ourselves an opportunity. We just have to protect the ball better." 

That jolt worked a half. Can it last for the remainder of Fitzpatrick's absence? 

Washington enters a short week before facing NFC East rival New York. Both teams are coming off a loss, and a win gives one of them an advantage in the division.

This could be a chance for Heinicke to solidify his status as a long-term option in D.C. It also could be a reason why Rivera starts looking elsewhere come Week 3. 

Of course, should they have grabbed Herbert, maybe Heinicke never gets his shot in the first place. 

Nothing ever can be easy in the NFL. For Washington, it truly is a new year, but the same old story.