- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Three months ago, Taylor Heinicke was finishing an engineering degree at Old Dominion. And then his world was turned upside down, pulled in by the Washington Football Team after a rash of quarterback injuries.

Heinicke got his chance — against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the wild card game — and now he won’t be headed back to class anytime soon.

Washington signed Heinicke to a new two-year extension Wednesday. Heinicke gives the team a security blanket of sorts at the quarterback position and a two-year deal gives the journeyman some security in the NFL.

“I’ve never felt I had two feet in the door,” Heinicke said. “I’ve always felt that I’ve been fighting either trying to make practice squad or even make the (roster). It’s always been kind of one foot in, one foot out. Now I actually feel like there’s a little more security there. This is the first time I’ve felt that being in the league, so it’s a great feeling.”

Kyle Allen, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in November, is also expected to be back. There’s less certainty regarding Alex Smith, the 36-year-old quarterback who worked back from 17 surgeries following a broken leg. Smith suffered a calf injury late in the season, though, requiring Heinicke to play.

“It’s kind of an unfortunate situation of how I got here,” Heinicke said Jan. 7. “But again, I’m just trying to make the best out of it. I don’t know if this is going to be the last game, or if the next game is going to be the last game. I just don’t know. I’m treating every day — I’m trying to enjoy it, give it all, and really soak it in. It’s something special that’s going on here.”

Heinicke started against Tampa Bay in the wild card round and impressed, throwing for 306 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for score, diving for the pylon and spraining his AC joint. He earned commendations from Chase Young, though, who ran to the end zone and pointed to Heinicke’s jersey.

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