After a hot start to the 2021 season, Washington Football Team wideout Terry McLaurin hit a cold stretch. Over a four-game span beginning on Nov. 21, the third-year veteran failed to haul in more than four catches or 51 yards in any single matchup.
On Sunday, though, McLaurin returned to his usual ways. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke found McLaurin seven times against Philadelphia for a total of 61 yards -- a more than solid outing versus a standout cornerback in Darius Slay but it came in a disappointing 20-16 loss.
Following Washington's Week 17 defeat to Philadelphia, which ended its 2021 playoff hopes, McLaurin joined Washington Football Kickoff Live and opened up about the lack of opportunities he's had in recent weeks compared to other top wideouts in the NFL this season.
"I'm human. I definitely look around the league," McLaurin said. "You want to be seen and you want to perform like you're the best, especially when you put in all that time and effort in the offseason, during the season to put up the numbers you want to put up."
As McLaurin went through this tough stretch, the 26-year-old realized to focus only on things in his control. After all, McLaurin's lack of involvement in Washington's offense was hardly a product of his own efforts.
"The No. 1 thing from that I've learned is you can't compare your situation to other people's situations," McLaurin said. "When you do that, it kind of takes away from your journey and your process. I've really learned to just control what I can and be present in my moment and just be ready for my opportunities."
McLaurin's Week 17 outing was by no means near his best of the season -- he's topped 100 yards in four games this year -- but it was another reminder that Washington must get its star wide receiver involved more in the offense -- a popular topic asked to both head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner this week.
With the loss on Sunday, Washington was officially eliminated from the postseason. But with one game remaining in the regular season, suiting up on Sunday will still mean something to McLaurin.
"I just want to end this season on the right foot. This will be my first year playing all 17 games and I'm proud of that. I'll come out here and we want to win this last game," McLaurin said.
McLaurin turned in a monster outing when Washington played the New York Giants earlier this season, finishing with a season-high 11 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. He's hoping to have a similar performance next week to end his third professional season on a high note.
"I'm going against James Bradberry and some other good corners over there, so if you don't come out ready, you're going to get embarrassed," McLaurin said. "You don't want that nasty taste in your mouth going into the offseason like you didn't give it your all that last game. You've got to try and win. That's my mindset. Until this season is over, I'm always going to play hard."