Dec 27, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) attempts a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

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Washington QB Taylor Heinicke to start vs. Buccaneers

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke will start Saturday’s NFC wild-card game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Washington announced approximately 3 1/2 hours prior to the game that fellow quarterback Alex Smith is inactive versus the fifth-seeded Buccaneers. Smith was listed as questionable with a calf strain that limited his participation in practice sessions throughout the week, leading to Heinicke receiving first-team reps.

Steven Montez will serve as the backup quarterback on Saturday.

Heinicke, 27, relieved an ineffective Dwayne Haskins — who summarily has been released — in Washington’s 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 27. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown in that game.

Smith returned from a two-game absence because of the injury to lead Washington to a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, clinching the NFC East with a 7-9 record.

Smith, 36, sports a 5-1 record since taking over as the starter in Week 10. After missing all of 2019 recovering from a leg injury and a life-threatening infection, he has completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight picks in eight appearances this season.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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