CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Taylor Henickie's road to starting his first NFL game has been anything but a straight shot.
After going undrafted in 2015, Heinicke spent the first three seasons of his career in Minnesota. He would later bounce from the Patriots practice squad, to the Houston Texans.
His NFL regular season debut was shorter than he anticipated week 16 last season, playing just nine plays before suffering a concussion.
"Last year was definitely a reality check," Heinicke said. "Sitting at home for about a month and a half, with no job, just watching all your buddies play on TV Sunday's, you don't know if you're going to get another chance or not."
ODU Quarterbacks Coach Ron Whitcomb has been in Heinicke's corner since he arrived at Old Dominion. He say's he expected the Monarchs all-time leading passer to ascend to where he is now.
"At one point, he was moving his furniture in New England and he got cut the same day," Whitcomb said. "Being in and out of the league shows great work ethic, and determination on his part to get to this opportunity."
The opportunity isn't about proving the doubters wrong for Heinicke though.
"I'd rather put it int he way of proving the people that believed in me right. You know thats the only people I care about."
The Panthers play the Falcons on Sunday at 1:00.