Taylor Heinicke to start vs. Eagles, but Kyle Allen 'probably' will play, too

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Heinicke to start vs. Eagles, but Allen 'probably' will play, too originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Ron Rivera is sticking with Taylor Heinicke as the Washington Football Team's starting quarterback...for now.

Speaking with local media via Zoom on Tuesday, Washington's head coach said that Heinicke will start on Sunday against Philadelphia, but backup Kyle Allen will "probably" play at some point during the team's final two regular season games.

"Will we play Kyle? Probably. But we're going to stick with Taylor right now," Rivera said.

While Rivera left the door open for Allen to play this season, the head coach would not say whether that would be as a starter or off the bench. If Allen -- who began the season as the team's third-string QB -- were to start for Washington, he'd be the fourth signal-caller to do so for the club this season.

Heinicke, who's started 13 games for Washington this season, was replaced by Allen in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Rivera said after the game the move was made to protect Heinicke -- the 28-year-old had taken a beating from Dallas' defense through the first three quarters -- but Heinicke didn't exactly help himself out, either.

Sunday's loss was one of Heinicke's worst outings of the season. He completed just 7-of-22 passes for a final stat line of 121 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions before he was pulled. In relief, Allen finished 8-of-10 for 64 yards and a touchdown -- although he was facing many of Dallas' backups.

In Week 14, Washington's first meeting versus Dallas, Allen also came on in relief after Heinicke left with both elbow and knee injuries. Heinicke also struggled in that matchup, completing just 11-of-25 passes for 121 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Allen nearly led Washington to a comeback but fumbled on the team's final offensive possession with the chance to tie the game. Both Heinicke and Allen missed Washington's Week 15 game versus Philadelphia after testing positive for COVID-19, forcing Garrett Gilbert into action after joining the team just four days prior.

Rivera emphasized that playing Allen at some point during the team's final two games is not an indictment on Heinicke. Rather, the head coach wants to get a good look at Allen before the season ends -- he's a restricted free agent after the year. Heinicke, on the other hand, is under contract through the 2022 season.

"We want to make sure we get a really good look at Kyle," Rivera said.