Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) not expected to return this season

Ryan Fitzpatrick's 2021 season is expected to be over.

The Washington Football Team's season-opening starting quarterback has too long of a road back from a hip subluxation and multiple sources say it's highly unlikely that he returns this year. That means Washington will have to rely on Taylor Heinicke and the QBs already in the room going forward, including today vs. the Buccaneers.

Fitzpatrick, who was injured in Week 1 and placed on injured reserve, is still dealing with swelling and pain in the hip and groin area, sources say. Based on his current status, he's been focused on treatment, rather than rehab and working out to get back on the football field. That part of the process has yet to begin.

He has another MRI in a few weeks to check his progress. If that shows vast improvement, perhaps Fitzpatrick can begin working out again. But based on where his hip is, the belief is he won't see the field again this year.

And just for the fact that he's nearly 39 years old and recovering from a major hip injury, one must wonder if he has played his last down in the NFL. But that's not currently on Fitz's mind.

Coach Ron Rivera was asked about Fitzpatrick's recent MRI this week during a news conference.

"They looked at it, and there is some progress," Rivera said. "Unfortunately, it's not way up, but it's progress."

Originally when Fitzpatrick suffered the injury, the belief was treating it non-surgically would put him on the field in about eight weeks.

But when it came time for the second MRI, it was "alarming" as one source described it. There was no improvement and he was still in pain. At that point, Fitzpatrick went back on crutches.

Only this last MRI showed improvement, though doctors know he's not close to returning because he is still in pain. Fitzpatrick also cannot begin the rehab process until there is no pain or swelling.

Because he's not there yet, there is a belief that he won't play again this year.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter.

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