It’s been pretty obvious for a while now that Ryan Fitzpatrick probably wasn’t coming back to play for the Washington Football Team this season, but today it has been widely reported that the end of any comeback hopes has officially arrived.
Can confirm the @nflnetwork report that Ryan Fitzpatrick is undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his hip. Makes it official: now be done for the year.— John Keim (@john_keim) December 7, 2021
Fitzpatrick was signed by Washington this offseason after numerous reports, confirmed by head coach Ron Rivera, that the team had tried to trade for former Lions QB Matt Stafford, who ended up going to the LA Rams. While Stafford would have represented an investment in “the future is now”, Fitzpatrick was seen as a bridge to an uncertain future.
The 38-year-old quarterback was signed to a fairly thrifty one-year contract valued at about $10.5m. The expectation was that his veteran leadership could help the team build on the relative success of the 2020 season, and buy the coaching staff another year to figure out where to look for Washington’s quarterback of the future.
Fitzpatrick’s on-field tenure for Washington lasted less than 30 minutes. Late in the 2nd quarter of the opening day game against the Chargers at FedEx Field, he was sacked by Uchenna Nwosu, causing a hip subluxation.
Initially, there were hopes that Fitzpatrick could rehabilitate the hip without surgery and return to the field of play around mid-season, but that simply didn’t eventuate. News today that he is undergoing arthroscopic surgery on the damaged hip puts to rest any lingering possibility of a return to the field.
While Fitzpatrick hasn’t spoken about his future plans, it seems reasonable to assume that the soon-to-be 39-year-old will give serious contemplation to retirement. He has had a 17-year career, with earnings estimated in the range of $78m. It seems like the time may have come for Fitz to relax and enjoy life after football with his wife and seven kids at home in Arizona.
There seems to be no reason to expect him or the Washington front office to try to renew or extend his tenure in DC. While Fitzpatrick came into the season with high hopes and talk of this being the best situation of his career, things have a way of changing abruptly at FedEx Field.
While Ryan Fitzpatrick’s time in Washington was brief, we appreciate the months that he spent working to help build the team, and wish Ryan Fitzpatrick the best of success in whatever he chooses for the next stage of his life.