‘Fun Battle’- Taylor Heinicke Eager to Compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick for Starting Spot

Published 03/31/2021, 6:25 PM EDT
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Taylor Heinicke was largely an unknown name in the NFL world, up until the Divisional Playoffs last season. The 28-year-old quarterback first arrived in the league back in 2015. Heinicke signed for NFC North franchise, Minnesota Vikings, after going undrafted.

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The Georgia-born athlete competed against Mike Kafka to back up then-Vikings starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Mill. However, he had to wait until 2017 to make his NFL debut.

Heinicke stepped onto the football field for Houston Texans against the Pittsburgh Steelers in place of the injured backup QB, TJ Yates. First-choice starter Tom Savage was already sidelined due to injury.

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After a few more years in oblivion, Heinicke found himself back in the NFL with Washington Football Team in 2020. But with the absence of Kyle Allen, Alex Smith (and Dwayne Smith who was waived ahead of Week 16), Heinicke was forced to start in the Divisional Round against the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Will Ryan Fitzpatrick start for Washington Football Team in 2021?

Ron Rivera’s Washington Football Team is undergoing an offensive rejig of sorts this summer. They’ve brought in NFL journeyman, Ryan Fitzpatrick who last played for Miami Dolphins, on a 1-year minimum contract. Taylor Heinicke will battle it out with the ‘Fitz Magic’ for the starting spot in 2021, and he couldn’t be more delighted.

He said, “It’s going to be a fun battle. We’re going to hopefully help each other. I’m looking forward to picking his brain, getting better as a quarterback in that way, and whatever unfolds, unfolds. But, again, I’m excited for the addition, I’m excited for this offense that we’ve put together.

“I’d ask Alex, like, ‘Do you know Fitzy?’ He said, ‘Oh, yeah, he’s awesome, great guy,’ kind of compared him to Shaun Hill, who I had in my first two years in Minnesota, who was a great guy, helped me a lot,” Heinicke said in an interview with Julie Donaldson as reported by NBCSports.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick will be entering his 17th-year in the NFL. This will be his record-setting 9th NFL franchise. He turns 39 in November but showed no signs of slowing down towards the tail end of the 2020 NFL season.

Taylor Heinicke better bring his A-Game because Fitzpatrick will not bow out without a tough fight!

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Daniel Arambur

1592 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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