Ron Rivera said on Monday he is not considering replacing Taylor Heinicke with Kyle Allen as Washington’s quarterback.
That means Heinicke will make his sixth consecutive start at the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Heinicke was 24 in 39 for 172 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a 31-13 loss to Kansas City that knocked Washington down 2-4.
“I was very confident about what we did with Taylor,” Rivera said. “Every week isn’t going to be as productive as we’d like people to be, so we’ll just have to see and see what happens next.”
Heinicke has completed 63.6% of his passes for 1,390 yards, nine TDs and six INTs since replacing season-opening #1 quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Allen is the other QB on the roster while Fitzpatrick is in the injured reserve with a right hip injury.
But Rivera believes Heinicke is showing signs of growth and will improve with more experience. Taking into account his wildcard play in the playoffs last season, Heinicke only started seven NFL games.
His game against Kansas City was nothing special, and Washington finished with just 276 yards and a season-low score.
“We couldn’t put it together,” Heinicke said. “It was frustrating. But we’ll be better.”
Washington will have to do much better to compete with Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North Leading Packers (5-1), who opened as 9½-point favourites.
Tress Way remains Washington’s top player. He turned the field several times, keeping the Chiefs at the 5 and 4-yard lines, but Patrick Mahomes scored a goal each time against a sleazy defense that continued to struggle.
WHO NEEDS HELP
A little bit of everything, maybe nothing more than a penalty kick. Passer Montez Sweat went offside to reject the third down stop with KC in the red zone, linebacker Khaleke Hudson was flagged for being kept in the end zone, and those 14 points were more than Washington put down after the first half.
“I think a little lack of discipline falls on me,” Rivera said.
First-round pick Jamin Davis took a season-high 46 hits on linebacker and continues to earn the trust of Rivera, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, and the rest of the coaching team.
“It was very productive,” Rivera said. ‘I think it shows signs of what we believe could happen. And this is a downhill man who can run. There were a few games where he really showed off his ability to chase and chase players.’
Kicker Dustin Hopkins’ seat isn’t hot yet, but he’s warming up after missing a 42-yard field goal against the Chiefs. Washington is gearing up to find potential substitutes this week, and while it’s hard to find good help in the position, Hopkins may be kicking again for his job at Lambeau Field.
Running back Antonio Gibson plays with a shin injury that he recently revealed is a stress fracture. It’s unclear whether Gibson is trying to get it out again or if JD McKissic and rookie Jaret Patterson will shoulder the load this weekend.
Washington can be in Green Bay again without WR Curtis Samuel (crotch), RG Brandon Scherff (knee) and RT Sam Cosmi (ankle).
4 – Washington suffered first-half defeats against Kansas City after 11 in the first half.
With so many injuries, we hope for the best, knowing that beating the Packers away will take a Herculean effort and neither offense nor defense can take over a game.
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