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Taylor time in Pittsburgh: Panthers to start ODU’s Heinicke Thursday vs. Steelers

Taylor Heinicke (Courtesy: Carolina Panthers TV)

CHARLOTTE, NC – Thursday, it’s Taylor time in Pittsburgh.

Former Old Dominion standout Taylor Heinicke will start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in their preseason finale at Pittsburgh, Carolina head coach Ron Rivera announced Tuesday.

In three games this preseason, the 25 year-old is 17-of-24 passing for 255 yards, one passing touchdown, one interception and one rushing touchdown. This will be the third consecutive game Heinicke sees action before fellow QB Garrett Gilbert, with whom he is competing for the backup job (to starter Cam Newton).

Thursday’s preseason finale kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field.

Taylor Heinicke of the Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Heinicke made his NFL regular season debut with the Texans last season in a Week 16 contest against the Steelers last season. It was shorter than Heinicke or the Texans anticipated, as he left the game with a concussion after just nine plays under center.

Heinicke, ODU’s record-holder in passing yards and touchdowns, went undrafted in 2015. He spent the first three seasons of his career with the Vikings before being signed to the Patriots practice squad and then landing with the Texans.