After a rocky start to the 2022 NFL season, the Washington Commanders find themselves in the thick of the playoff picture in the NFC. Following a hard-fought tie against the New York Giants in Week 13, the Commanders sit with a record of 7-5-1, with five of those wins coming with quarterback Taylor Heinicke under center. With the success the franchise has had this year with Heinicke, head coach Ron Rivera’s comments on Monday should not come as much of a surprise. Rivera told reporters Heinicke would remain the starting quarterback once Carson Wentz is reactivated from IR, according to JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington.
“I feel comfortable with Taylor, and when Carson is activated, he will be the primary backup,” said Rivera, adding that he is “not necessarily” considering a change at starting quarterback.
Heinicke has been a solid starter through seven starts this season, tallying 1,444 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions, according to Pro Football Reference. The former undrafted rookie out of Old Dominion floated around many practice squads throughout his career before landing in Washington. After a near-upset victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 NFL playoffs, Heinicke became the starting quarterback in 2021, appearing in 16 games and tossing 3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.
In the offseason, the Commanders made an effort to upgrade at quarterback by trading for Wentz, who started 17 games last year for the Indianapolis Colts, but a fractured finger has sidelined the former number two overall pick since Week 6. Though Wentz performed admirably as the starting quarterback in Washington this season, the recent streak of success with Heinicke cannot be ignored.
The Commanders are set to square off against the New York Giants again in Week 15 following their bye this week. Is Ron Rivera making the right decision by sticking with Taylor Heinicke over Carson Wentz? Can Heinicke lead the Commanders to a playoff berth?