After days of evaluation, the Atlanta Falcons have finally named their starting quarterback for Week 9. Veteran Taylor Heinicke will get the start against the Minnesota Vikings, head coach Arthur Smith told reporters on Wednesday.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith said for this week, Taylor Heinicke will be the starting quarterback.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) November 1, 2023
Heinicke replaced Desmond Ridder in the second half of last week’s loss to the Titans and provided a spark to Atlanta’s offense. He passed for 175 yards and a touchdown while nearly leading Atlanta to a comeback victory over Tennessee.
Ridder was pulled from the game not long after committing his league-leading 12th turnover. Many assumed the second-year QB had been benched, however, Smith said he was just being cautious with Ridder after a potential head injury.
Heinicke, 30, has started 24 games over the last two seasons for the Washington Commanders. During his three years in Washington, Heinicke racked up 5,415 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, with a passer rating of 87.5.
We’ll see if he can continue to provide a spark to this Falcons offense against the Vikings on Sunday. If Heinicke plays well, it could be tough to go back to Ridder.