It’s hardly a secret that Carson Wentz isn’t long for the nation’s capitol. The Washington Commanders essentially confirmed as much halfway through the regular season, writing Wentz’s future on the wall of FedEx Field.
Before kickoff of their Week 9 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, the Commanders advertised for 2023 season tickets by featuring quarterback Taylor Heinicke in a promotion on the stadium’s video board.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 6, 2022
Wentz has been sidelined with a broken right ring finger since Washington’s 12-7 victory over the Chicago Bears, a game in which he threw for 99 yards while competing 12-of-22 passes. He underwent surgery on his finger a few days later, with the Commanders subsequently placing him on injured reserve, ensuring Wentz would be sidelined until their November 20th game at the Houston Texans.
Washington coach Ron Rivera named Heinicke his team’s starter shortly after Wentz went under the knife. Heinicke has led the Commanders to a pair of victories since then, combining for 480 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 67 percent of his throws in hard-fought wins over the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts.
Wentz has struggled to live up his status as Washington’s franchise quarterback this season after being acquired via trade with the Indianapolis Colts in March.
He’s led the Commanders to a 2-4 record, throwing 1,489 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions with a 62.1% completion rate. Wentz is the only quarterback with six starts or fewer who’s been sacked at least 23 times, and his 33.3 QBR ranks 30th among 33 eligible quarterbacks.
Washington can release Wentz after the season without financial penalty. Expect him to be playing elsewhere going forward almost no matter how 2022 ends, but especially if Heinicke remains the Commanders’ starter once Wentz is healthy enough to play.
Heinicke, meanwhile, could stake an even more forceful claim to be Washington’s starter over the season’s remainder. Barring consistent star-level play from the fifth-year journeyman, though, don’t be surprised if the Commanders go back to the well at quarterback next offseason, scouring draft boards and free agency for their next starter.