Ryan Fitzpatrick exits Washington debut with hip injury, Chargers win 20-16

NFL Washington

LANDOVER, MARYLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu #42 of the Los Angeles Chargers hits quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Washington Football Team in the second quarter at FedExField on September 12, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. Fitzpatrick left the game after the hit. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick was knocked out of his debut as Washington’s starting quarterback with a right hip injury.

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Fitzpatrick was injured on a hit from Uchenna Nwosu midway through the second quarter of the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The 38-year-old was helped to his feet by teammates but went back down and was in distress before walking off with trainers.

Fitzpatrick walked immediately to the tunnel and waved to fans on his way out. He was replaced by Taylor Heinicke. Fitzpatrick was 3 of 6 for 16 yards before getting hurt.

Washington is the ninth team Fitzpatrick has started for during his 17-year NFL career.

Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert threw for 337 yards and a touchdown to help the Chargers beat Washington 20-16 in an ugly Week 1 matchup Sunday full of turnovers and big penalties.

Herbert led scoring drives of 75, 76 and 68 yards, and a go-ahead touchdown pass to Mike Williams made up for his fumble into the end zone and red zone interception on consecutive possessions. The reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and the Chargers went 14 of 19 on third downs, wearing down Washington’s defense led by last year’s top defensive rookie, Chase Young.

The teams combined for 14 penalties for 151 yards and three giveaways.

Los Angeles also got a 3-yard TD run from Austin Ekeler, who was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Ekeler finished with 57 yards on 15 carries and joined Danny Woodhead as the only undrafted players in the NFL’s common draft era with 10-plus rushing and 15-plus passing TDs.

Loud cheers erupted from the visiting locker room as the Chargers celebrated Brandon Staley winning his coaching debut.

The Chargers host the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday at home. while the Washington Football team returns to the field against the New York Giants on Thursday night.

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