ADVERTISEMENT

The leaders coach is torn between Taylor Heinecke and the improvement of Carson Wentz

ADVERTISEMENT

The Washington captains have a decision to make at quarterback, but coach Ron Rivera still isn’t sure when.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rivera said he’s still not sure Carson Wentz He will be activated from injured reserve this week after missing the last four games with his right ring finger. It was originally believed that the injury would sideline him for four weeks. If so, Wentz could be activated this week.

However, even if he is available, there is a good chance that Washington will still be his replacement. Taylor Hynek. Even though he lacks Wentz’s size or arm, the Leaders went 3-1 with Heinicke’s start and pulled off a huge upset Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rivera said he still has to meet with the coaches to discuss Wentz’s condition and then discuss the situation with offensive coordinator Scott Turner and quarterbacks coach Ken Zambezi.

Then, when Rivera decides to select a player, he first meets with the players involved and then reports to the team. That won’t happen until Wednesday morning at the earliest.

“You have to look at the momentum and the mood of the team,” Rivera said. “There are a lot of factors.”

Washington acquired Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 draft, from the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason. Teams traded second-round picks last April, and the leaders also fielded a third-round pick in 2022 and a conditional third in 2023. The latter converts to a second-round pick if Wentz plays 70% of the picks this season.

Wentz, who started the first six games, fractured his right ring finger in a 12-7 win over the Chicago Bears on Oct. 13 and was placed on injured reserve.

While the offense remained inconsistent, he led a late winning drive against the Green Bay Packers and also a last-second rally to win in Indianapolis as well as an upset Monday night.

Heinicke posted a quarterback rating of 47.2 in his four starts compared to Wentz’s 32.4 in six starts. Wentz also had to learn a new offense, having played in a different system his previous six seasons. This resulted in him holding the ball longer than usual at times behind shaky pass protection. He was sacked 23 times.

“You look at what’s best for the team and that’s how it should be,” Rivera said. “There’s a great saying, ‘You treat everyone equally, you treat everyone fairly but you treat everyone according to the team. So the team will be decided first and foremost. Whoever is a starter I’ll stick to them completely. I don’t want them looking over their shoulder'” .

But Rivera stopped short of saying any decision would be for the remainder of the season.

After Monday’s win, Heinicke said he’s not worried about any decision.

“I said it back at the OTAs that we brought in Carson to be the starter. If my number gets called, I’ll be ready to go in,” Heineke said. “Whatever decision they want to make, let’s go. If I’m going to support Carson next week, great. The biggest thing for me is let’s win. Let’s keep winning whether it means playing or not.”

Heinicke has support from the locker room. They were drawn to his underdog story—the former underdog quarterback who was sleeping on his sister’s couch at this time two years ago before Washington signed him in December 2020. He started that season’s playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played well in the 31-23 loss.

“He’s been great for us since he got here, honestly,” a receiver Terry McLaurin He said. “He plays without fear, everything isn’t pretty. He’ll stretch play with his legs and get the hard yards. He’ll put us in the right positions. You just feel confident with a guy back there like that. A lot of people want to measure his height and his arm and all that stuff. You can’t Measure what’s inside his chest.”

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
%d bloggers like this: