Heinicke was living on his sister’s couch when WFT called


If you watched the Washington Football Team’s 2020 season, it might appear like their postseason hero, QB Taylor Heinicke, came out of nowhere and was thrust onto the spotlight late in the season. Well, it turns out that assumption is basically true.

Ahead of WFT’s first preseason game of 2021 vs. New England, NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay caught up with Taylor’s mom, Diane Dodsworth. Dodsworth gave quite the story about her son living on his sister’s couch when Washington gave him that fateful phone call.

“Yes, I can confirm that,” Diane said with a laugh. “Taking classes and just, you know, playing video games, and he got the lucky call. So, we’re real happy for him.”

From his sister’s couch to the NFL to the NFC Wild Card Game to making one of the best TD runs in recent Washington Football history. Quite the timeline for ‘Hein-ick-EE,’ as he’s known around the squad.

That touchdown run, in which he evaded half a dozen Tampa Bay pass rushers en route to a head-first dive into the end zone, immediately made Heinicke a fan favorite. But, like all mothers, Dodsworth was nervous seeing her son dive head-first into a swarm of men wanting to bring him down.


“I’ve gotten nervous ever since he started playing at nine years old, but I just say a prayer and let him do his thing, and he’s always pulled through,” Dodsworth said.

Heinicke’s tremendous outing for Washington, in addition to what he showed in practice, was enough for the team to ink him to a two-year, $8.75 million deal this past offseason. He’s reaping the rewards of a lifetime of dedication, but there were certainly times when he wasn’t expecting it all to turn out so well, Dodsworth says.

“I mean, it crossed his mind. He was making plans for if that wouldn’t happen, but thank God it came through, and there he is…I think he’s got a lot more to show us.”

Heinicke will likely be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup this season. Given what he’s shown in his limited time in pro football thus far, that’s not too shabby of a plan B for Ron Rivera’s Washington side.