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

Commanders name Taylor Heinicke starting QB for Week 11

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

Oct 9, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) jogs off the field after the Commanders' game against the Tennessee Titans at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders QB Carson Wentz placed on injured reserve

The Washington Commanders placed quarterback Carson Wentz on injured reserve Saturday.

The move comes after he fractured his finger during Washington’s 12-7 victory over the Chicago Bears on Oct. 13. He then underwent surgery on Monday in Los Angeles.

Wentz, 29, is required to miss four games as a result of being placed on injured reserve. Those games include road clashes against two former teams: the Indianapolis Colts (Oct. 30) and Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 14).

Wentz has thrown for 1,489 yards with 10 touchdowns against six interceptions in six games this season.

He has completed 62.6 percent of his passes with 150 touchdowns and 63 picks in 91 career games with the Eagles (2016-20), Colts (2021) and Commanders since being selected by Philadelphia with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Taylor Heinicke will be under center for the Commanders (2-4) on Sunday against the visiting Green Bay Packers (3-3).

Heinicke went 7-8 as Washington’s starter in 2021. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,419 yards and 20 touchdowns against 15 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Aug 20, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Heinicke announced as Commanders starting QB

Washington coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday anointed Taylor Heinicke the starting quarterback for the Commanders’ Week 7 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Rookie Sam Howell will be the backup.

Heinicke replaces Carson Wentz, who underwent surgery Monday on his fractured finger. Wentz is expected to be sidelined 4 to 6 weeks.

“Taylor right now gives us the best chance,” Rivera said Tuesday.

Rivera was asked if any consideration was given to tabbing Howell as the starter.

“We didn’t want to put Sam in this situation this early in his career,” Rivera said. “I think Sam is still learning what we do and how we do it … we think he’s on track.”

Wentz fractured the ring finger of his throwing hand in last week’s win over the Chicago Bears. He underwent successful surgery Monday in Los Angeles, the Commanders said in a statement. Hand specialist Dr. Steven Shin performed the surgery. Rivera said a decision on whether to place Wentz on injured reserve would come later this week.

The Commanders selected Howell in the fifth round of this year’s draft.

Wentz sustained the injury late in the first half of Thursday’s win when his hand hit Bears defensive lineman Justin Jones on his follow-through. He remained in the game and played the entirety of the contest.

Wentz finished 12-of-22 passing for 99 yards. He has 1,489 yards passing on the season with 10 touchdowns against six interceptions.

Heinicke went 7-8 as Washington’s starter in 2021. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,419 yards and 20 TDs against 15 INTs.

The Commanders (2-4) host the Green Bay Packers (3-3) this Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) stands in the huddle against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Washington QB Taylor Heinicke tests positive

Starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke became the latest member of the Washington Football Team to test positive for COVID-19, multiple outlets reported Friday.

Backup quarterback Kyle Allen was one of 21 Washington players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, leaving the team with only practice squad signal-callers Kyle Shurmur and Jordan Ta’amu.

Washington also reportedly planned to sign Garrett Gilbert off the New England Patriots’ practice squad on Friday.

There’s a chance Heinicke could still play Sunday when Washington (6-7) visits NFC East rival Philadelphia (6-7).

Under the revised protocols implemented by the NFL on Thursday, fully vaccinated players or staff can “test out” of the protocols under one of three complex testing scenarios and with the provision they are asymptomatic for at least 24 hours.

Heinicke, 28, has completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 2,931 yards with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 games (12 starts) this season.

Shurmur, 25, has never appeared in an NFL game. Neither has Ta’amu, 24, who signed with WFT on Wednesday.

Gilbert, 30, made one start last season with the Dallas Cowboys. He passed for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 24-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to pass the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: WFT QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to miss rest of season

Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to miss the remainder of the season as he continues his recovery from a hip subluxation, multiple media outlets reported.

Taylor Heinicke is pegged to be the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of 2021 season.

Fitzpatrick, 38, was injured against the Los Angeles Chargers in the season opener on Sept. 12 and placed on injured reserve the following day.

Per NFL Network, Fitzpatrick has been focused on receiving treatment for the pain and swelling of the injury and has yet to advance to the rehab stage of the process.

“They looked at it, and there is some progress,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said of Fitzpatrick’s recent MRI. “Unfortunately, it’s not way up, but it’s progress.”

Fitzpatrick has 34,990 passing yards and 223 touchdown passes with 169 interceptions in 166 career games.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2005, Fitzpatrick has played for the then-St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Washington.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) fumbles the ball after being hit by Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (42) while passing the ball in the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) expected to miss multiple weeks

Washington starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to miss an extended period of time with a hip subluxation, NFL Network reported.

The team signed quarterback Kyle Shurmur to the practice squad Monday.

Taylor Heinicke replaced Fitzpatrick in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and Kyle Allen is also on the 53-man roster.

Fitzpatrick, 38, is having an MRI on Monday to determine the full extent of the damage. He would miss multiple weeks if the subluxation is confirmed.

Fitzpatrick was injured in the second quarter after a hit by Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu. He was helped off the field and didn’t return. He was 3 of 6 passing for 13 yards.

Heinicke finished 11-for-15 for 122 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.

“He gave us a spark when we needed it,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said of Heinicke. ‘”When Taylor stepped in and brought some energy, that was a huge plus. There is something about Taylor; that’s a huge positive. It brings a little something.”

Heinicke is expected to get the start against the New York Giants on Thursday to kick off Week 2.

One of Rivera’s former quarterbacks — Cam Newton — remains unsigned after he was released by the New England Patriots.

Rivera dismissed Newton as an option before the season, but that was before Fitzpatrick’s injury.

Newton won the NFL MVP award with the Panthers in the team’s Super Bowl season (2015) and Rivera served as head coach in Carolina for eight-plus seasons.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) passes the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

QB Taylor Heinicke signs extension with Washington

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke, plucked from engineering school at Old Dominion in December when the Washington Football Team needed help, signed a two-year extension with the club Wednesday.

Terms were not released but it’s reportedly an $8.75 million deal, with additional financial incentives attached depending on how many games he starts.

“It’s a good feeling,” Heinicke said, via the team’s website. “Everyone knows I was at home taking math classes … so for this contract to come, it’s a big sigh of relief. I’m really excited. This is the place I wanted to be, so everything came together pretty smoothly, and I’m really excited to be back.”

Heinicke, 27, was signed to the practice squad on Dec. 8 after having been out of the league for more than a year. He entered a Week 16 game against the Carolina Panthers, replacing an ineffective Dwayne Haskins, who soon after was released. Heinicke completed 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. He added 22 rushing yards on three carries.

With Alex Smith sidelined by a calf injury, Heinicke started the wild card playoff game against Tampa Bay, completing 26 of 44 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown against an interception in the 31-23 loss. The Buccaneers went on to win the Super Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) attempts a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke to start vs. Buccaneers

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke will start Saturday’s NFC wild-card game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Washington announced approximately 3 1/2 hours prior to the game that fellow quarterback Alex Smith is inactive versus the fifth-seeded Buccaneers. Smith was listed as questionable with a calf strain that limited his participation in practice sessions throughout the week, leading to Heinicke receiving first-team reps.

Steven Montez will serve as the backup quarterback on Saturday.

Heinicke, 27, relieved an ineffective Dwayne Haskins — who summarily has been released — in Washington’s 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 27. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown in that game.

Smith returned from a two-game absence because of the injury to lead Washington to a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, clinching the NFC East with a 7-9 record.

Smith, 36, sports a 5-1 record since taking over as the starter in Week 10. After missing all of 2019 recovering from a leg injury and a life-threatening infection, he has completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight picks in eight appearances this season.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) attempts a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke receives first-team reps

The Washington Football Team may elect to rotate their quarterbacks after all.

Backup Taylor Heinicke received first-team reps in practice on Wednesday, one day after coach Ron Rivera floated the notion of the team rotating its quarterbacks in Saturday’s NFC wild-card game versus the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Heinicke was granted the first-team reps with fellow quarterback Alex Smith limited by a calf strain.

Smith returned from a two-game absence because of the injury to lead Washington to a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, clinching the NFC East with a 7-9 record. However, Smith’s mobility appeared limited, leaving Rivera to devise an alternate plan for a matchup with the blitz-happy Buccaneers (11-5).

Smith, 36, sports a 5-1 record since taking over as the starter in Week 10. After missing all of 2019 recovering from a leg injury and a life-threatening infection, he has completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight picks in eight appearances this season.

Heinicke, 27, relieved an ineffective Dwayne Haskins — who summarily has been released — in Washington’s 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 27. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown in that game.

–Field Level Media