Commander Heinike will start at QB vs. Texans; Wentz’s status is uncertain

Commander Heinike will start at QB vs. Texans; Wentz’s status is uncertain

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Taylor Heinicke will start for the Washington Commanders on Sunday when they face the Texans in Houston (1-7-1), coach Ron Rivera announced Wednesday.

Carson Wentz has been cleared to start throwing again, Rivera said, but the veteran has not yet been designated to return to practice. Rivera indicated that Wentz needs to practice before the team considers him a starter or backup.

Sunday’s decision essentially delays, at least for a week, the big quarterback decision for Washington.

Rivera said that whichever quarterback is chosen as the starter will take the role with the assurance that the team is committed to him. In most cases.

“I don’t want them looking over their shoulder,” Rivera said Tuesday. “I want them to understand this is the opportunity and this is where we’re going to take it.”

Still, the coach qualified his statement, knowing a lot can change from week to week.

“Everything is one game at a time,” Rivera said. “I’m not getting ahead of myself. We are going to focus on winning one match at a time.”

Once starved of turnovers, the Commander defense is now feasting

Rivera said Wednesday that Wentz threw on the field with trainers — the rest of the team had a walk-through in the indoor bubble — but the coach did not provide a timetable for when the quarterback might be designated to return. Should Wentz be unable to serve as the backup Sunday, rookie Sam Howell will continue as the No. 2 behind Heinike.

Heinicke took over as the Commanders’ starter in Week 7 after Wentz suffered a broken finger in a Week 6 win over the Bears. The team placed Wentz on injured reserve, requiring him to miss at least four weeks, and Heinike immediately led Washington. Green Bay wins over the Packers FedEx field and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Commander (5-5) narrowly Minnesota lost to the Vikings But returned to the hands of the Eagles in Week 9 Their first loss of the season Monday night at Philadelphia, a win that moved Washington into eighth place in the NFC.

“You want to see consistency in what he’s doing and how he’s working,” Rivera said of Heinik. “You want to see him take what’s there. Sometimes, he tends to try to force certain areas, but he does a good job.” Did, he really did, and the guys rallied around him.”

How the Commanders offense rose up and dominated the Eagles

In four starts this season, Heinicke has completed nearly 62 percent of his passes for an average of 210 yards per game and an 82.7 passer rating.

“We have time,” Rivera said. “That’s it for us. [Heinicke’s] Did some good work, and we’ll see how it goes this week, but to me, it’s part of making a decision. You have to be realistic, you have to look and you have to see, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Defensive end Chase Young’s return timetable is also uncertain. Rivera said Young fully participated in the team’s indoor walk-through on Wednesday and the team will determine his status Thursday based on how his body feels.

Young missed more than a year recovering from a knee injury suffered in Week 10 last season. Commanders nominated him to return From being physically unable to make the roster on Nov. 2, they now have until Nov. 23 to activate him. It’s possible they’ll wait until the deadline before bringing him back.

Once he returns, Young will be on a limited snap count and the team will monitor him closely, Rivera said.

“The big part of it is, especially right now, it’s as close as you can get to live action, and you can’t really do that,” Rivera said. “So we have to try and think about how he can get a lot of good reps in the next few days to get a good gauge of where he’s at.”

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