Heinicke was bumped up to the starting role after veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with a hip injury in Week 1. If he continues to play well, Rapoport says he might not give the job back when Fitzpatrick returns from injured reserve.
Heinicke was steady in the second half of Week 1 and led Washington to a comeback win in Week 2 against the Giants.
Rapoport adds Washington has been impressed with how the team has rallied around Heinicke as a leader, and that will be a factor in the decision later this season.
Heinicke, 27, wound up signing on with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion back in 2015. He managed to make the 53-man roster during his rookie season but wasn’t active for a single game.
The Vikings elected to waive Heinicke with an injury designation coming out of the preseason in 2017 before eventually cutting him loose with an injury settlement.
Heinicke had brief stints with the Patriots and Texans before being claimed by the Panthers. Carolina released him coming out of the preseason in 2019 and he signed on to Washington’s practice squad late in 2020. He signed a two-year, $8.75 million extension with Washington this offseason.
In 2021, Heinicke has appeared in two games for Washington and completed 45-61 of his passing attempts (73.5 percent) for 458 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He’s added seven rush attempts for 23 yards.