It didn't take long for Taylor Heinicke's all-white jersey to become covered in grass stains on Sunday afternoon.
The Washington Football Team quarterback took a beating during the club's Week 14, 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, as he was sacked four times and hit several more before exiting in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. Heinicke did not return to the contest, either, as backup Kyle Allen finished the game for the Burgundy and Gold.
Speaking with reporters following the game, Washington head coach Ron Rivera did not seem overly concerned about Heinicke's health moving forward.
"Taylor is dealing with a knee [injury], so we'll see how that is," Rivera said. "It doesn't look that bad, but we'll wait until it's examined."
Later on following the game, Heinicke told local media via conference call that his knee is "fine." However, Heinicke did say that he had been dealing with an elbow injury during the game as well.
"The knee is fine; it was a little scary at first, but it was really my throwing elbow that got me in the first half on a throw," Heinicke said. "I didn’t feel right ever since. I think the knee should be fine; I should be ready this week.”
There's no quarterback controversy in Washington, either, as Rivera said the job is Heinicke's moving forward as long as he's healthy.
"Yeah. If he's healthy, he's our starter," Rivera said.
The 28-year-old QB struggled during the first half of Sunday's game, as Washington was held scoreless for the first 30 minutes and entered the halftime break down 24 points. Heinicke did show life in the second half before his injury, highlighted by a 43-yard touchdown pass to Cam Sims.
Asked about Heinicke's performance overall, Rivera had mixed feelings about his quarterback's play.
"I thought he had his moments. A couple times, you know, I thought he was a little hesitant," Rivera said. "I thought he held the ball a little longer than he should've a couple of times. He had some good reads, he tried to put the ball where he needed to put it a couple times, and he did. Then, I think he kind of got crushed a little bit. I'd like to see him get back to taking what's out there and making those throws he's capable of."
Heinicke's availability moving forward is vital for Washington, as the club faces Philadelphia next week in a crucial NFC East clash that has several Wild Card implications moving forward. Both teams are 6-7 entering the week.
If Washington wants to get back in the win column against the Eagles, though, they'll have to play a lot more how they did in the second half of Sunday's game than the first 30 minutes.
"We've got to come out with that energy earlier," Rivera said.