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Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has hip surgery, ending chance of return this season

Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was injured during the season opener against the Chargers, had surgery on his hip. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had arthroscopic surgery on his right hip Tuesday, officially ending his chances of returning this season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Fitzpatrick, 39, suffered a partial dislocation, or subluxation, of his hip in the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers and has been on injured reserve since. The initial projection was that he could return after six to eight weeks of rehab and avoid surgery. But in mid-November, it became clear that his chances of coming back were slim. An MRI exam showed “some progress” in his recovery, Coach Ron Rivera said, but not enough to get him back on the field.

“Unfortunately, not way up there, but it’s progress,” Rivera said Nov. 14. “So what he’ll do is he’ll continue to work, do his rehab stuff, and he’ll be reevaluated soon.”

The procedure, according to the person familiar with the situation, was said to be “minor,” but it ends Fitzpatrick’s time with his ninth NFL team and raises questions about his future in the league.

Washington signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal worth up to $12 million in March with the hope that the 16-season veteran would stabilize an offense in transition and lead a group of mostly young and new players.

“It was the way he played over the last two seasons, how he plays with an edge and that he plays football to score points. He plays fearless,” offensive coordinator Scott Turner said in August. “He doesn’t play to be perfect, because you’re not going to be. I think that we needed a little bit of that. And he’s smart. There’s a difference between fearless and reckless. You got to walk that line a little bit, and all the great guys do. You got to know when to say when, and I think that he has a great feel for that.”

But Washington’s plan changed when Fitzpatrick was hit in the second quarter against the Chargers and injured his hip. He was placed on IR, and the team turned to Taylor Heinicke, a fifth-year journeyman who had made just two NFL starts, including Washington’s first-round playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January.

Heinicke, who re-signed on a two-year deal in the offseason, has started all 11 games in Fitzpatrick’s absence and, after a rocky first half of the season, has helped guide the team to a four-game winning streak since its bye week. Washington, 6-6 and in sixth place in the NFC (the top seven teams make the playoffs), faces a final five-game stretch against NFC East opponents that will determine its postseason chances.

Adding to the team’s challenge is its growing list of injured players. Backup linebacker Khaleke Hudson, who helped fill in for Landon Collins during Sunday’s win at Las Vegas, suffered a sprained ankle and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, meaning he will miss at least three weeks. To fill his roster spot, Washington signed linebacker Milo Eifler off the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad.

Jonathan Allen a two-time Walter Payton winner

Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen was named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for the second consecutive season for his work in the community, especially in providing resources to homeless youths.

As a team nominee, he will receive up to a $40,000 donation from the NFL Foundation and Nationwide to the charity of his choice. He also will be up for the leaguewide award, which will be announced during the NFL Honors awards show Feb. 10. If he’s voted the winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, he will receive a $250,000 donation.

Allen and his wife, Hannah, also announced Tuesday that they plan to donate $3 million to local charities over the course of his career in Washington.

Allen, who signed a new four-year, $72 million contract in July, is on his way to a career season, having posted a team-high 6.5 sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, Allen is tied for fourth among interior linemen with 46 quarterback pressures and has a 20.8 percent pass-rush win rate that ranks him second behind Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (23.2 percent).

Off the field, he has devoted much of his time to Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a D.C. organization that helps homeless youths find shelter and families create stability.

Sam Fortier contributed to this report.

What to read about the Washington Commanders

Exclusive: An employee of Washington’s NFL team accused Commanders owner Daniel Snyder of asking for sex, groping her and attempting to remove her clothes, according to legal correspondence obtained by The Post. A team investigation concluded the woman was lying in an attempt to extort Snyder.

Capitol Hill: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that the committee intends to issue a subpoena to compel the testimony of Snyder.

Kevin B. Blackistone: If NFL players care about social justice, why haven’t they rebuked the Commanders’ defensive coordinator?

Penalized: The NFL fined Commanders head coach Ron Rivera $100,000 and docked the team two OTA practices in 2023 for excessive hitting during their offseason program this year, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

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