Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera has revealed that he might turn to rotating his quarterbacks this Saturday in a wild-card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Washington, who beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 on Sunday Night Football to win their division and clinch the last playoff spot, hosts the Buccaneers this as the winner of the NFC East Division.
Washington quarterback Alex Smith, who missed games in Weeks 15 and 16 due to a strained calf, returned to action in Week 17 and led Washington to a key win over the Eagles. Washington backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke was out of the league for nearly two years before Washington signed him to its practice squad on December 8.
Washington, who selected Dwayne Haskins at No. 15 in the 2019 NFL draft, released the sophomore quarterback last week. "We have to definitely look at that," Rivera said. "The truth of the matter is we play a very aggressive defense this week; it's something we most certainly have to look at."
Using two quarterbacks wouldn't change much for Washington
Washington coach Rivera acknowledged that using two quarterbacks wouldn't require two different game plans. "To have two separate game plans, you're asking for way too much of your team," Rivera said.
"That's why it's important to have quarterbacks that know your system, understand your system and have been a part of your system. "I couldn't tell you whether we want to do it or don't want to do it.
I couldn't tell you if there's value to doing it. I just know we'll address it when it happens." Smith wasn't at 100 percent against the Eagles but he performed well enough to help his team get the win.
"I thought he had his moments [vs. Philadelphia]," said Rivera, when asked about Smith's mobility. "That first drive is what we were looking for. The drive before halftime was excellent. There were a couple things that happened where you say, 'Oh, man, I wish he could have stepped away from that.'
As long as he's performing and doing things we need to help us, we'll keep rolling." Rivera considered using Heinicke against the Eagles but didn't. "We'll just know as we go through the game and we get in certain situations or circumstances we may have to consider something like that," Rivera said. "I can't tell you what it would be. It has to be something that comes up in the moment of the game."