Former ODU standout Taylor Heinicke remains in concussion protocol after NFL debut on Christmas Day

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Taylor Heinicke of the Houston Texans. (Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, Texas – Taylor Heinicke and Old Dominion football fans received an unexpected Christmas gift Monday as ODU’s former record-setting quarterback was forced into duty vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Heinicke, serving as the backup quarterback for the Houston Texans, entered the game late in the first half with his team trailing 20-0. Starting quarterback T.J. Yates left the game to be evaluated for a possible concussion.

Taylor Heinicke is tackled by Vince Williams. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

However, Heinicke’s NFL debut did not last long. After one play in the second quarter and eight plays in the third – including his first career pass attempt and completion – Heinicke left the game to be evaluated for a possible concussion and did not return.

Tuesday, head coach Bill O’Brien confirmed Heinicke remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Heinicke’s final line: 1-of-1, 10 yards passing, two rush yards.

After the game, O’Brien was asked what adjustments were needed when Heinicke entered the game. “Nothing,” O’Brien admitted. “He knew everything he was good to go with everything. He’s a smart guy, he just got hit.”

Heinicke, who signed with the Texans practice squad last month, was promoted to the active roster prior to last Sunday’s game vs. Jacksonville.

After a record-setting ODU career, Heinicke left Norfolk ranked third all-time among FBS quarterbacks in total yards of offense with 16,279 and sixth in career passing yards with 14,959. His 132 career touchdown tosses is fourth most all-time, just two behind Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell for third place.

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