The Washington Commanders are making a big change at quarterback as Taylor Heinicke is expected to start Carson Wentz again in the future, according to NFL Media. Wentz is still out with the finger injury that sidelined him in the first place, but when he returns he is expected to be the second string.
Heinicke has gone 3-1 as a starter since replacing Wentz, his last outing being a 32-21 win over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. In his four starts this season, Heinicke has completed 62% of his passes for five touchdowns and four interceptions, and is averaging 210 passing yards per game.
Heinicke has been Washington’s starter for most of 2021 after Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. There have been good times and bad from the former Old star. Dominion, while he went 7-8 as a starter and threw for 3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, but there was no doubt Washington would be looking for a new starting quarterback during the off season.
Wentz, the Eagles’ former No. 2 pick, went 2-4 as a Washington starter to start the year and completed 62.1% of his passes for 10 touchdowns and six interceptions while averaging 248 .2 passing yards per game. He was also sacked 23 times.
It’s a big step for Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, whose confidence in Wentz has publicly appeared to dwindle at times this season. When Washington made the polarizing decision to trade for Wentz, who was alone with the Indianapolis Colts, Rivera proclaimed thatabout the new commanders quarterback – unlike everyone else.
“You have questions. I don’t… Whose questions are they? Do they have answers? If they have answers and they know and they’re right in the middle of it, then great So why don’t you tell us what your answers are? Rivera told Ben Standig of TheAthletic.com, (H/T Pro Football Talk). “I’ll be honest with you: from this point on, I’m really not concerned with what happened in Philadelphia, and I’m not really concerned with what happened in Indianapolis. The answers I have from people, the things I have seen and read don’t scare me. . . . Most things I’ve seen and people I’ve talked to, and people who know about it. . . their responses really support how I feel. . . . Frankly, I’m not worried.”
Last month, however, the coach apologized after identifying thethe commanders were behind the other NFC East teams.
It’s a decision that will be celebrated by many, as Heinicke is the scrappy underdog who has quickly established himself as a fan favorite due to his competitiveness. It remains to be seen how long he will be able to hold the position, but Commanders are certainly on a roll right now.