The quarterback competition in Washington is officially on.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen all in tow, head coach Ron Rivera told reporters Thursday that Fitzpatrick will mostly work with the starters, but his job as QB1 isn't secure. In fact, he wants to see Allen and Heinicke push the 38-year-old:
"It's going to be a good competition. I look forward to it. It's going to push our football team and make our football team better. I just feel that going into this knowing we have a proven guy there that has the ability to lead us, but again, we have a guy in Taylor that shows us he can do it. They are going to compete, they are going to push, and I'm looking forward to it."
Here's how the three passers performed last season:
- Fitzpatrick: 9 games, 2,091 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 68.5 completion percentage, 95.6 passer rating
- Allen: 4 games, 610 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception, 69.0 completion percentage, 99.3 passer rating
- Heinicke: 1 game, 137 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions, 63.2 completion percentage, 102.3 passer rating
Heinicke was thrown into the starting role for the team's lone playoff game after an injury to Alex Smith. He also shined at the end of a Week 16 loss after Rivera benched then-starter Dwayne Haskins Jr.
Allen suffered a dislocated ankle in Week 9. The Houston product followed Rivera from the Carolina Panthers to Washington but will still have to compete for his reps.
Fitzpatrick remains the favorite to win the QB battle after signing a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason.
Steven Montez, an undrafted free agent in 2020, is also on the roster.
Asked how he'll run his competition, Rivera said he plans to create as many game-like situations as possible.
"You want to be able to rotate guys so that everybody gets an opportunity to work with the same group of players," Rivera said. "You try to create that energy for guys stepping on the field knowing that they are working with the ones [first-teamers]. That's one of the things we've done in the past that shows how you find out about players."