|No. 4 – Washington Football Team|
|Born:||March 15, 1993|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Collins Hill (Suwanee, Georgia)|
|College:||Old Dominion (2011–2014)|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2021|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Taylor Heinicke (// HIGH-na-key; born March 15, 1993) is an American football quarterback for the Washington Football Team of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Old Dominion and has been a member of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, whom he joined as an undrafted free agent in 2015, as well as the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panthers. In addition, Heinicke was a reserve quarterback for the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL in 2020.
Heinicke played football under head coach Kevin Reach at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia, where he was an all-state selection as a junior after guiding Collins Hill to a 10–4 record and a trip to the Class AAAAA semi-finals. As a senior, Heinicke was named the Old Spice National Player of the Year in the state of Georgia. The award is presented annually to 50 high school varsity football athletes. He was also the Gwinnett Daily Post's Offensive Player of the Year after his record season when he threw for 4,218 yards, the second most in state history, and 44 touchdowns, which is the third-best ever in Georgia, setting Gwinnett County single-season records for passing yards and touchdowns. He threw over 300 yards in nine games and also ran for 354 yards on 77 carries along with a pair of touchdowns. Following his senior season, Heinicke was invited to play at the North/South All-Star Football Classic, where he collected 254 yards and three touchdowns en route to MVP honors after helping the North to a 22–0 victory over the South. He appeared on the reality TV show The Ride, which featured high school quarterbacks competing for a spot in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Heinicke became the starter for the Monarchs in 2011. That year, he led the Monarchs to a 10–3 record in the Colonial Athletic Association, but lost in the second round of FCS playoffs against Georgia Southern. He passed for 2,385 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 1 interception, and he ran for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also punted 4 times for 170 yards. Heinicke was named to the All-CAA 3rd team Offense and was the National Freshman Performer of the Year. Old Dominion finished ranked #10 in the Football Championship Subdivision.
In 2012, Heinicke led the Monarchs to an 11–2 record, losing in the playoffs quarterfinals to Georgia Southern. That year, Heinicke passed for an FCS-record 5,076 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He ran for 470 yards and 11 touchdowns. He additionally punted 11 times for 475 yards. On September 22, 2012, against New Hampshire, Heinicke passed for a Division I-record 730 yards and threw five touchdowns. In 2012, Heinicke was awarded All-American honors, CAA Offensive Player of the Year, and the Walter Payton Award. Old Dominion finished ranked #6 in the FCS.
For the 2013 season, Old Dominion began a transition to Conference USA, meaning for the 2013 season, ODU was an independent team. Despite this, Heinicke led ODU to an 8–4 record against mostly FCS opponents. During the season, he passed for 4,022 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. He ran for 348 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also punted 13 times for a total of 539 yards, also kicking the longest punt on the team for the season of 61 yards. During 2013, Heinicke became just the 18th quarterback from Division I to pass for 10,000 career yards and rush for 1,000. His 2013 season marks placed him in the top ten among FBS quarterbacks in passing yards, passing yards per game and touchdown passes.
For the 2014 season, Heinicke led ODU to a 6–6 record. During the season, he passed for 3,476 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. He ran for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also punted 14 times for a total of 661 yards.
|Height||Weight||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|6 ft 0 in
|4.62 s||1.59 s||2.55 s||4.21 s||6.96 s||35 in
|10 ft 3 in|
|All values from Pro Day|
Heinicke went undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, but signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He competed against Mike Kafka to back up Vikings starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater along with Shaun Hill. Kafka would get injured and was placed on injured reserve, making way for Heinicke to be the third string quarterback.
On September 3, 2016, Heinicke was placed on the reserve/NFI list with an off-the-field injury suffered between minicamp and training camp. He was activated to the active roster on November 8, 2016.
On November 29, 2017, Heinicke was signed to the Houston Texans' practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster on December 15, 2017, to back up T. J. Yates following an injury to Tom Savage. On December 25, 2017, Heinicke made his NFL debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers after Yates suffered a possible concussion. However, after completing his only pass attempt, Heinicke suffered a concussion and was replaced by Yates, who had just passed the concussion protocol. On April 13, 2018, Heinicke was waived by the Texans.
On April 16, 2018, Heinicke was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers. During the 2018 season he appeared in six games with the Panthers including being named starter for Week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons after starter Cam Newton was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. In his start against the Atlanta Falcons, Heinicke went 33 for 53 for 274 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. During the game he suffered an elbow injury and was replaced at quarterback by Kyle Allen. His injury was significant enough that he was placed on injured reserve for the Panthers final game of the year. Heinicke re-signed with the team on March 12, 2019, but was released during final roster cuts on August 30, 2019.
Heinicke was allocated to the St. Louis BattleHawks before the 2020 XFL Draft on November 22, 2019. However, he did not see the field during the season and recorded no statistics and had his contract terminated when the league suspended operations in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On December 8, 2020, Heinicke signed with the practice squad of the Washington Football Team. Prior to joining them, he was in the process of finishing his engineering degree at Old Dominion. He was promoted to their active roster on December 19. He played his first game for the team in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers after starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins was benched in the fourth quarter. Heinicke completed 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown during a 20–13 loss.
Heinicke started the team's Wild Card playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Alex Smith was ruled out due to injury. There, Heinicke completed 26 of 44 passes for 306 yards, threw a touchdown alongside an interception, and rushed for a touchdown in a 31–23 loss.
An impending restricted free agent in 2021, Heinicke signed a two-year, $4.75 million contract extension with the team in February. In the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, he came in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick who left in the second quarter due to a hip injury. Heinicke was named the starter going forward after Fitzpatrick was placed on injured reserve following the game. His first start came in a Thursday Night Football game against the New York Giants in which he threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns in a 30–29 victory.
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