All about Taylor Heinicke, the QB who will replace Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Taylor Heinicke will start in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Heinicke and Kyle Allen are expected to take the centre stage
- Heinicke earned an athletic scholarship at Old Dominion University in 2011
With Ryan Fitzpatrick on the injured reserve list with a hip injury, Washington Football Team will turn to Taylor Heinicke, 28, to start at quarterback spot against the New York Giants on Thursday night.
Cam Newton is not walking through that door, and Robert Griffin III is not walking through that door. Hence Heinicke and Kyle Allen are expected to take the centre stage for the foreseeable future, and coach Ron Rivera does not plan on bringing in a veteran QB any time soon.
Born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Heinicke played football under head coach Kevin Reach at Collins Hill High School. As a senior, Heinicke was named the Old Spice National Player of the Year in the state of Georgia.
In 2011, Heinicke earned an athletic scholarship at Old Dominion University (ODU) and he played football for the Old Dominion Monarchs from 2011 to 2014.
Heinicke threw for 14,959 yards and 132 touchdowns in those four years, completing over 67% of his throws.
However, Heinicke went undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft before signing with the Minnesota Vikings. After winning the third-string role, he stayed with Minnesota until he was released due to injury in 2017. Soon after, he spent roughly a month with the Patriots until being released in October 2017.
The journeyman backup made his NFL debut with the Texans in November 2017, filling in for an injured T.J. Yates. Before being evaluated for a concussion, he completed his lone throw, concluding his brief stint as Houston quarterback. Heinicke was released by the Texans in April of the following year.
After being grabbed off waivers by Ron Rivera's Panthers in 2018, Heinicke was given a longer look. While he participated in six games as a backup to Cam Newton, he only started one, against the Falcons in Week 16, when he sustained an elbow injury. On the day, he completed 33 of 57 throws for a touchdown and three interceptions.
In 2020, he joined the XFL as a member of the St. Louis BattleHawks, but saw no play on the field. After the league's activities were halted, he became a free agent once more.
Heinicke returned to the NFL in 2020, this time with Washington and again under Rivera's tutelage.
Last season, Heincke quickly went from out of football taking college classes online to making a surprise playoff start in place of injured veteran Alex Smith — and almost pulling off a stunning comeback against Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.