Taylor Heinicke started the day as QB2 for Washington, but by the 4th quarter, the Team knew they needed to make a change. Heinicke didn’t see the field until the 4th quarter, but his 2 drives were very impressive.
Both resulted in touchdowns, albeit 1 was called back due to an offensive penalty.
QB Steven Montez and Heinicke duked it out in practice this week for the backup spot, with Taylor winning the competition.
Heinicke was chosen from the many QBs available because after his time at Old Dominion, he played under HC Ron Rivera and OC Scott Turner in Carolina.
Taylor even got a shot at starting late in 2018 for the injured Cam Newton, playing well before getting hurt himself.
Poor performance by the Week 1 starter, Dwayne Haskins, and an injury to Kyle Allen, led to Alex Smith getting on the field earlier than expected.
Under Smith, the Team got to the top of the NFC East, and are still vying for a divisional championship. Smith strained his calf in Week 14, and Haskins has been the starter since.
But Sunday, Heinicke got the call after Haskins struggled, and promptly led the Team down the field, into scoring position.
Heinicke seemed poised in the pocket. Able to make reads and find the open receivers. Even using his legs to extend plays, and like we said before, he executed 2 late scoring drives. Even though one was called back.
Questions about who would be the starter next week, if Smith couldn’t go were answered on Monday, with Washington releasing their former 1st-round draft pick, Dwayne Haskins.
But how did Taylor get here?
An undrafted free agent in 2015, Heinicke signed with the Vikings, but injuries kept him from seeing much time on the active roster. The same story followed him to Carolina via New England, until the XFL began their supplemental draft.
In 2019, Heinicke was released from the Panthers, and remained a free agent. Allocated to the BattleHawks but never seeing the field, Taylor would show the tenacity that ended up getting him re-signed in the NFL.
He was an emotional leader in the locker room. Letting his experience help guide the younger QB Jordan Ta’amu. It would have been easy for him to be bitter about being a backup in the new league, but his character wouldn’t allow that.
He’s never given up, despite the challenges. And now he has the opportunity to start another NFL game, this time, with a shot at gaining a playoff spot.
We’re behind you, Taylor. Pulling for your success.
For the Love of football.
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