Earlier Wednesday, a report said the Commanders were returning to Taylor Heinicke to start their final game of the season against the Cowboys.
We now know that the report was wrong.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera announced in his Wednesday press conference that rookie Sam Howell would be QB1 for the team’s season finale.
Heinicke will serve as a backup while Carson Wentz was demoted to No. 3 quarterback after starting last week’s loss to Cleveland.
Rivera noted that Heinicke would likely have the start had Washington not been eliminated in the postseason race. And those early career starts tend to be a bit of a circus in certain situations.
“At the end of the day, at some point, if Sam has the opportunity to start, this would be the opportunity – why not end it now and go from there?” Rivera said, via Nicki Jhabvala of Washington Post. “But the biggest thing is we’re really intrigued in terms of watching and seeing what Sam can do as a quarterback. in this league.”
The Commanders selected Howell with the 144th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2022 draft. He hasn’t made an appearance so far this season, but he’s completed 62.3% of his passes for 547 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the preseason. He also went for 94 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
Wentz returns to the bench after posting a 31.4 passer rating and three picks in Week 17. The Commanders were eliminated from the playoffs after losing and Sunday’s other results.
Heinicke has gone 5-3-1 as a starter this season, completing 62.2% of his passes for 1,859 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.