— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 1, 2023
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith announced Wednesday that the Falcons are benching quarterback Desmond Ridder and starting QB Taylor Heinecke against the Minnesota Vikings. Smith added that it was “just for this game,” but he’s also a notorious unreliable narrator — Ridder was possibly benched against the Tennessee Titans despite Smith claiming that he was being tested for a concussion. Ridder cleared concussion protocol on the sideline.
In his career against the Bucs (including playoffs), Heinicke has thrown for 562 yards, two touchdowns and a pick in the two games he has started for Washington. If all goes well with him in Atlanta, he’ll get a third crack at playing Tampa Bay on Dec. 10 in a game that could decide the division.