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Commanders Rumors: Washington 'Really Liked' How Carson Wentz Played vs. 49ers

Erin WalshDecember 26, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 24: Carson Wentz #11 of the Washington Commanders warms up prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders lost to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, but they "really liked how Carson Wentz played coming in off the bench in place of Taylor Heinicke," per CBS Sports insider Jonathan Jones.

Washington, which is in the NFC playoff race, could turn to Wentz as its starter against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

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.<a href="https://twitter.com/jjones9?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jjones9</a> gives the latest on news surrounding the league, including the Broncos firing Nathaniel Hackett, Mike White starting for the Jets against Seattle, Carson Wentz possibly starting against the Browns and whether Jalen Hurts will be active in Week 17. <a href="https://t.co/8ttJA7LCA8">pic.twitter.com/8ttJA7LCA8</a>

The Commanders inserted Wentz into the game when they were down 30-14. He completed 12-of-16 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown in what was his first game action since Week 6.

Wentz began the season as Washington's starting quarterback after spending the 2021 campaign with the Indianapolis Colts. In six games, he completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 1,489 yards and 10 touchdowns against six interceptions as the Commanders went 2-4.

The 29-year-old lost his job to Heinicke after a stint on injured reserve and didn't return to the active roster until Dec. 12.

Heinicke has been Washington's starter since Week 7, leading the Commanders to a 5-3-1 record. In nine starts, he has completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 1,859 yards and 12 touchdowns against six interceptions.

While those numbers are respectable, the Commanders have struggled to move the ball on offense with Heinicke at the helm, and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported ahead of Saturday's game that the leash was getting shorter for the Old Dominion product following poor outings against the New York Giants earlier this month.

It seems that head coach Ron Rivera may be leaning toward Wentz as his starter in Week 17, but no decision has been made. ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio noted that a decision will come by Wednesday morning at the latest.

The Commanders are fourth in the NFC East with a 7-7-1 record and are currently occupying the NFC's No. 7 seed. There will be little room for error on Sunday against Cleveland and in the team's regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 8.

Flipping between quarterbacks is not a recipe for success, and the larger problem is that Washington lacks a capable signal-caller to lead the offense.

Between Heinicke, Wentz and 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell, the Commanders likely do not have their quarterback of the future.