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Commanders name Taylor Heinicke starting QB for Week 11

Nov 14, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) prepares to snap the ball during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Washington head coach Ron Rivera named Taylor Heinicke the Commanders’ starting quarterback for this week’s game against the Houston Texans.

Carson Wentz (finger) resumed throwing Wednesday but has not been cleared for a return to practice. He’s eligible to come off injured reserve after missing four weeks.

Wentz started the season as the QB1 in Washington until a fractured right ring finger sent him to IR following a Week 6 win over the Chicago Bears.

Heinicke is 3-1 since Wentz went to the sideline with a 2-4 record. Heinicke capped the active run Monday night with a 32-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, who were previously unbeaten and among Super Bowl favorites.

The 29-year-old Heinicke has five touchdowns and four interceptions in 2022, piloting a run-first offense to wins over the Eagles, Colts and Packers in addition to a three-point loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Once Wentz is cleared for a return to practice, the Commanders have 21 days to add him to the active roster. Whether Wentz reclaims the starting QB role at that point is anyone’s guess.

“You have to look at the momentum,” Rivera said Wednesday. “You have to look at what the mood of the team is, obviously. You look at what is best for the team, and at the end of the day, that’s how it has to be.”

Acquired by the Commanders from the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz had 10 touchdowns and six interceptions this season. He was sacked nine times in a 24-8 loss to the Eagles on Sept. 25.

–Field Level Media