Taylor Heinicke, a fan favorite after a strong performance in a playoff loss to Tampa Bay, replaced Fitzpatrick. He led a shot at the end of the first half, helped by a 15-yard penalty for the passer.
Halfway through the second quarter, Fitzpatrick fell back to pass but was equalized by linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, who beat left tackle Charles Leno Jr. on the inside. Fitzpatrick lay down on the floor for a minute and then stood up briefly before going back to bed. As he was helped off the pitch, he stopped to talk to Heinicke before patting him on the helmet and heading to the locker room.
Washington signed Fitzpatrick in the offseason to give veterans a boost in the quarterback. The team praised his wisdom and leadership, but he struggled against the Chargers’ defense, completing 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards. He became Washington’s 31st starting quarterback since the franchise won the Super Bowl after the 1991 season.
Washington signed Heinicke at the end of last season. He was a student at Old Dominion when the team called and hadn’t started an NFL game in two years.