It probably isn't how the Washington Football Team drew it up before the 2021 season began, but Taylor Heinicke is set to make his first regular-season start with the franchise in Week 2 against the Giants.
The last time Heinicke was the known starter before an NFL game, he was throwing for 300 yards and pulling out a full-body extension for a big second-half touchdown in the 2020 playoffs. So how will he fare this time around? Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman gave a detailed prediction of the quarterback's stat line on Thursday.
"I like the way [Heinicke] plays," Zimmerman told the Sports Junkies. "He spreads the ball out, [Antonio] Gibson can run the ball, he's got a couple of weapons now. So I'm going to say 26-for-38, 273 yards passing, two touchdowns and one pick."
Heinicke stepped in at quarterback for Washington after Ryan Fitzpatrick exited their Week 1 matchup in the second quarter with a hip injury. He was impressive under center once again, completing 11-of-15 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown, however it wasn't enough as the Washington defense struggled to get Justin Herbert's Chargers off the field on third down.
Fitzpatrick is reportedly out for six-to-eight weeks as he recovers from a hip subluxation, so if Washington is going to remain in the mix for a division title by the end of the year, they'll need Heinicke to play as he did in limited time last week and to the form that Zimmerman described as well.
Heinicke and the Washington Football Team kick-off against the Giants Thursday night at 8:20 p.m.