The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to play their first playoff game since 2007 this Saturday evening. Which Washington quarterback takes the field against the Buccaneers may still be in question. Ian Rappoport of the NFL Network tweeted the following:
The Washington Football Team will have more answers in the morning, but there is a real chance QB Taylor Heinicke ends up starting vs the #Bucs, sources say. Alex Smith’s calf is still sore and hasn’t loosened up. Heinicke took the majority of snaps and is ready if needed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 9, 2021
Reports of soreness from quarterback Alex Smith have been a consistent topic of discussion leading up to Saturday’s Wild Card matchup. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke has taken the majority of snaps this week and could see his first start since 2018 with the Carolina Panthers. This could bode well for the Buccaneers’ defense especially with the absence of star linebacker Devin White not being able to clear the COVID list until Sunday.
Heinicke has 467 passing yards and two total touchdowns in his short NFL career. He was out of football in 2019 before the Washington Football Team signed him for the 2020 season. He spent time with the Panthers and the Houston Texans in 2017 and 2018.
There was little optimism in Washington head coach Ron Rivera’s voice Thursday afternoon stating that he wished Smith had an extra day to get healthy. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow morning and go from there,” Rivera told media members Thursday. The report was that Smith was 60-70% healthy in the final week of the season. Smith’s mobility has been in question since last week’s division-clinching win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
As it goes for the Buccaneers and Mike Evans for Saturday, it’s a wait and see game. The Buccaneers are currently eight-point favorites heading into tomorrow evening and have a great chance at winning their first playoff game since their Super Bowl win in 2002.
It is now confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Scheftner that Washington quarterback Alex Smith will be inactive for tonight’s Wild Card game against Tampa Bay. Taylor Heinicke will get his first postseason start.
WFT QB Alex Smith is inactive tonight.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2021
Stay tuned to BucsReport.com for all your Buccaneers postseason updates and news.