Taylor Heinicke to serve as Commanders starting QB over Carson Wentz moving forward, per report

Washington officials are making a big change at quarterback, as Taylor Heinicke is expected to start over Carson Wentz moving forward, according to NFL Media. Wentz is still out with the finger injury that sidelined him in the first place, but when he returns, he’s expected to be second string.

Heinicke has gone 3-1 as a starter since replacing Wentz, with his most recent outing being a 32-21 win over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. In his four starts this season, Heinicke has completed 62 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and four interceptions, and is averaging 210 passing yards per game.

Heinicke was Washington’s starter for nearly all of 2021 after Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with a season-ending injury in Week 1. There were both good and bad moments from the former Old Dominion star as he went 7-8 as a starter and threw for 3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, but there was no question Washington would be looking for a new starting quarterback this offseason.

Wentz, the former No. 2 overall pick of the Eagles, has gone 2-4 as Washington’s starter to start the year and has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and six interceptions while averaging average of 248.2 passing yards per game. He was also sacked 23 times.

It’s a big move for Commanders coach Ron Rivera, whose confidence in Wentz seemed to publicly wane at times during the season. When Washington made the polarizing decision to trade for Wentz, who was a one-man deal with the Indianapolis Colts, Rivera proclaimed that he had no questions about Commanders new general — 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, then great. Then 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: At this point, I don’t really care about what happened in Philadelphia and I don’t really care about what happened in Indianapolis. The responses I’ve gotten from people, the things I’ve seen and read don’t scare me. . . . Most of the things I’ve seen and the people I’ve talked to and the people they know. . . their answers really support what I feel. . . . Honestly, I don’t care about that.”

Last month, however, the coach apologized after being identified general position as why the Commanders were behind the other teams in the NFC East.

This is a move that will be celebrated by many as Heinicke is the underdog who has quickly established himself as a fan favorite due to his competitiveness. It remains to be seen how long he can hold that position, but the Commanders are certainly riding high right now.

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