Nov 17, 2022 - Sports

The Commanders quarterback conundrum

Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke, side by side

Carson Wentz (left) and Taylor Heinicke. Photos: Michael Reaves/Getty Images and Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

A quarterback battle is brewing ahead of the Commanders' pivotal Sunday game.

Why it matters: The team suddenly has a pep in their step!

What’s happening: The Commanders popped the Eagles’ undefeated bubble on Monday, their fourth win in five games. They play the dismal Houston Texans next.

  • Still, the Commanders (5-5) are last in the highly competitive NFC East.

State of play: Their current winning streak is thanks in part to QB Taylor Heinicke, who has endeared himself to fans with five touchdowns and a surname that recalls a Dutch beer. (Shockingly, Heinicke partnered with Bud Light last year.)

  • Heinicke stepped in after starting QB Carson Wentz injured his finger in mid-October. The team was 2-4 at that point and looking down.
  • Now recovered, Wentz is eligible to return to practice and join the active roster, per the Washington Post.

🤔 The dilemma for head coach Ron Rivera: Wentz or Heinicke?

  • Rivera hasn’t announced his decision. Fans have been trying to read the tea leaves all week.

What he's saying: “You have to look at the momentum. You have to look at what the mood of the team is, obviously,” Rivera said, per the Post. “You look at what is best for the team, and at the end of the day, that’s how it has to be.”

The case for Wentz: He’s paid a $22 million salary and benching him could hurt his morale, the Post wrote.

The case for Heinicke: He’s playing his heart out.

  • Plus, if Wentz plays under 70% of snaps this season, the franchise won’t need to send a favorable draft pick option to the Indianapolis Colts next year, the Post reported. That obscure clause was part of Wentz’s trade last year.

“They should stay with Taylor,” legendary franchise quarterback Joe Thiesmann tweeted.

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