Heinicke’s second NFL start came after it was announced that Alex Smith was out with a calf injury but the young pro did not disappoint and came close to what could have been an upset against playoff veteran Tom Brady.
Heinicke did his best to keep Washington in the game. He was 26-for-44 with 306 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception and led the team in rushing yards with 46.
“I deserve to be in this league a little longer,” Heinicke said of his own performance after the game, via ESPN. “I’ve been on the other side not playing and it’s not fun, not as fun as this.”
The quarterback situation in Washington has been extremely fluid this season and head coach Ron Rivera has a history with Heinicke that could keep him there as he heads into the next season as a free agent.
“I love Ron. I want to be back in Washington,” he said, via NBC Sports.
Heinicke was picked up off waivers in 2018 when Rivera was head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He played backup to Cam Newton for six games and started in Week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons, where he completed 33 of 57 passes, one touchdown and three interceptions.
“It was gutsy,” Rivera said of Heinicke’s performance. “The young man earned an opportunity.”