Ron Rivera: Washington will play Ryan Fitzpatrick and other starters in preseason

Some NFL head coaches have decided that the risks of injury simply aren’t worth playing starters in the preseason. Washington’s Ron Rivera is not one of those coaches.

Rivera said today that starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and other starters will play when the Football Team opens its preseason against the Patriots on Thursday night.

“We’re gonna play our guys on Thursday,” Rivera said. “I’ll tell you that right now. I mean, it’s a great opportunity. It’s against a very good football team. Well coached. So, I’m excited about that potential. I think that having the three games and then having a two-week prep period for the first game, it’s going to behoove us to play the guys a little bit more, at least that’s my opinion.”

Rivera didn’t say specifically how much Fitzpatrick will play, other than that he’ll play “enough.”

“What you’re looking for is the command, the command of the offense, command of what’s going on on the field and I think the respect of his teammates when he’s on the field,” Rivera said. “So, that’s what we’re really looking for. We want some success obviously, but the truth of the matter is, those things all come with time. This will be our first exposure, his first exposure as our first quarterback out there right now.”

The preseason has become increasingly uninteresting for fans as starting quarterbacks have played increasingly less. Seeing Fitzpatrick in a Washington uniform will be one reason to watch preseason football this week.