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Ron Rivera stops short of declaring Ryan Fitzpatrick the WFT starting quarterback

Mike Florio and Chris Simms run through what they're keeping a careful eye on during the second week of preseason action around the NFL.

Ryan Fitzpatrick may indeed be the starting quarterback in Washington. However, coach Ron Rivera has yet to say so. He stopped short of making Fitzpatrick the Week One starter when speaking to reporters on Saturday.

“You know, we don’t play for 21 days,” Rivera said. “Whenever it’s time to say it, I’ll say it. Whenever we got to put out the first depth chart, you guys will see. Right now, that’s not the important thing. The important thing is we continue to work and prepare and get ready and everybody competes. Whether it’s you know, fait accompli or not, I just think, you know, we, we get caught up right now on something that’s not as important as practicing, developing, learning and doing things the right way.”

Fitzpatrick, in his first year with the team, is still learning how to mesh with his new teammates.

“When you watch the tape and you see those things, more than anything, it’s a little bit more developing that feel between himself and the receivers,” Rivera said of Fitzpatrick. “He is anticipating something different from the receiver and the receiver did something opposite. So that’s just comes to working, refining, getting a good feel for it. I love the decision. Unfortunately, he threw it too far out in front of Logan [Thomas] twice. One time for the first down the other time for a touchdown. He had Adam [Humphries], I love the decision, one time. He just overthrew Adam through the middle. He led Dyami [Brown] just a little bit too much. He had Adam Humphries, he thought Adam was going to cross face and Adam felt because the guy squared him up, he had to go and pivot back out. So again, it’s just getting a little bit more feel and understanding of one another. There’s a lot of natural things that happen. If there’s anything that I would say about Ryan that I would ever wonder about is in practice every now and that he will try and force the ball.”

Reading between the lines, maybe there’s a sliver of an opening for Taylor Heinecke. Even if Fitzpatrick holds the Week One job, it’s worth paying attention to how he does. For as good as he can be, Fitzpatrick is prone to periodic lapses. If/when he has one in Washington, Rivera may start thinking about Plan B.