Friday, December 3

Who is Taylor Heinicke? Meet the Washington quarterback replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick after injury

The Washington soccer team is looking for a victory made by Taylor on Thursday.

The Washington Football Team QB carousel was one of the most intriguing stories in football in 2020, and that has followed them into the 2021 season. Heinicke, the team’s backup who had some playoff sparkle, is starting rather than an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick in Washington’s game against the Giants on Thursday night.

The second year of Ron Rivera’s tenure in Washington has been marred by a QB nightmare: From the failure and release of Dwayne Haskins to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hip injury in Week 1, the quarterback position has not been resolved. Now, once again they head to Heinicke to stabilize the ship.

Here’s what you need to know about the quarterback who hopes to lead Washington to their first win over the Giants since 2018:

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Who is Tyler Heinicke?

Heinicke – pronounced “high-nuh-key” – is a product of Old Dominion University, where he started for four years as the Monarchs QB. In those four years, Heinicke completed more than 67 percent of his passes for 14,959 yards and 132 touchdowns.

Heinicke was not drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft and eventually signed a contract with the Vikings. He would go on to win the third-row job and stay with Minnesota until he was released through injury in 2017. He spent about a month with the Patriots shortly after that; it was finally released in October 2017.

The official backup made his NFL debut in November 2017 with the Texans, replacing the injured TJ Yates. He completed his only pass before being reviewed for a concussion, ending his brief stint as Houston’s quarterback. The Texans resigned from Heinicke the following April.

MORE: What happened to Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Heinicke got an extended look as a member of Ron Rivera’s Panthers in 2018 after Carolina claimed him on waivers. While he appeared in six games backing Cam Newton, he only started one, a Week 16 matchup against the Falcons in which he suffered an elbow injury. He completed 33 of 57 passes with one touchdown and three interceptions on the day. Heinicke was replaced by future Washington quarterback Kyle Allen. The Panthers eventually re-signed Heinicke and then released him the following August.

He found himself in the XFL in 2020 as a member of the St. Louis BattleHawks, but did not see any action on the field. He once again became a free agent after the league suspended operations.

Heinicke returned to the NFL in 2020, again playing with Rivera, but this time with Washington. He was hired to the practice team on December 8 before being elevated to the active roster as a backup to Dwayne Haskins. Heinicke would replace Haskins on the bench in a Week 16 matchup against the Panthers, completing 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown in Washington’s loss.

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With Alex Smith limping from a calf injury, Washington turned to Heinicke for their wild-card round matchup against the Buccaneers in the 2020 NFL playoffs, and he played relatively well: Heinicke hit 26 of 44 passes for 306 yards per touchdown. and an interception. At least Heinicke kept Washington in the game.

Now, they will hope that I can go out and win one on Thursday.

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