Taylor Heinicke to Start for Washington If Alex Smith Remains Out

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Taylor Heinicke will start at quarterback for the Washington Football Team this Sunday against the Eagles if Alex Smith is unable to play, head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday.

Heinicke replaced quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 20-13 loss to the Panthers. He completed 12 of his 19 pass attempts for 137 yards and a touchdown.

Washington can win the NFC East if it defeats the Eagles on Sunday. If the Football Team loses, the winner of next week's Cowboys-Giants game will be crowned the division champion.

Prior to Sunday, Heinicke had not played in an NFL game since 2018. 

Smith has missed two straight games after suffering a calf injury on Dec. 13 against the 49ers. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the team does believe Smith will be available to play in Week 17.

On Monday, Washington released Haskins after less than two seasons with the club.