Having played in every game this season, the teenager found himself on the bench for United's visit to Tynecastle, seemingly paying the price for an indifferent display in the League Cup against Queen of the South.
But Gary Locke insists there is nothing sinister in the demotion, and that he is simply looking after the Academy graduate.
"Brad's had a fantastic start to the season. We felt it was just the right time to give him a wee rest. He has a massive role to play for the rest of the season," the Hearts manager told the Evening News.
"That's one of the things this season with so many young players. It's important we look after them as best we can. Jordan McGhee came in and did really well on Saturday.
"Jordan can go all the way. We make that point to the young players, that they must keep their feet on the ground and not get carried away with themselves.
"They're all doing well but it's a long season and we have a long way to go. Hopefully they can keep producing these types of performances. Jordan's got great composure and he's been doing really well for us. He thoroughly deserves his opportunity."