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Arthur Smith announces Taylor Heinicke will remain starting quarterback in Week 10

Heinicke made his first start as a Falcon against the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Arthur Smith said the Falcons will stick with Taylor Heinicke as the Falcons starting quarterback for at least another week as they prep to make the trip to Arizona to face the Cardinals in Week 10.

Smith said because of where the Falcons are "and everything going on," that the staff feels that they want to stick with Heinicke as the starter instead of going back to Desmond Ridder.

"Especially going into this week, we'll go with Taylor this week and kind of re-assess going into the bye," Smith said. "(Heinicke has) played the last six quarters and we've scored 48 points with him back there. Obviously we want more than that, but that'll be the plan this week."

Ridder started the first eight games of the season, but was taken out of the Falcons' Week 8 loss to the Titans in Nashville to be evaluated for a concussion. He was cleared to return to the game, but the Falcons kept Heinicke in the game. He went 12-for-21 through the air with 175 passing yards, providing a spark for an offense that struggled to move the ball against the Titans defense in the first half of the game.

After Smith made the announcement last Wednesday that the Falcons would name Heinicke as the starter and Ridder as the backup, Heinicke got his first start for the Falcons in their Week 9 loss to Minnesota last Sunday. Heinicke went 21-for-38 through the air with 268 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The head coach said Monday that though the Falcons will keep Heinicke as the starting quarterback through Week 10, it'll continue to be a short-term decision. The Falcons will re-assess the quarterback position following their Week 11 bye week and have a long-term plan established then. They play the Saints at home in Week 12.

"You don't want to play with a two-quarterback system and whatnot. But I think just kind of where we're at, and everything that's going on, the bye week will be a good time to assess," Smith said. "I certainly don't plan on it being week-to-week after that. But we need to do everything we can to go get this win out in Arizona."

Smith concluded saying that the decision to start Heinicke in Week 10 "doesn't mean anything is over for Des."

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings during Week 9.

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