Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera provided some clarity on the team’s quarterback outlook heading into the offseason.
The 61-year-old said that Washington will enter “OTAs, minicamp and training camp with Sam Howell more than likely QB1.”
However, Rivera added “we’ll see what happens” and “we’ll find out” if the 2022 fifth-round draft pick can do the things the team believes he’s “capable of.”
After being selected out of the University of North Carolina, Howell opened up the regular season behind both Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke on the Commanders depth chart.
Wentz was traded to Washington in a March 2022 deal with the Indianapolis Colts but registered just a 62.3% completion percentage for 1,755 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games, while the team went 2-5 in the 30-year-old’s seven starts.
Wentz missed time with a broken right ring finger, and once he was healthy, he lost the starting job to Heinicke. Wentz replaced Heinicke in the fourth quarter of the Commanders’ Week 16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, finishing 12-for-16 for 123 passing yards and one touchdown, but in a must-win Week 17, went 16-for-28 for 143 passing yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions in a loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Though the one-time Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowler has two years left on his contract, it doesn’t include any guaranteed money, and the team could cut him without any money counting toward its salary cap. Wentz’s days in the nation’s capital appear to be done, and for now, it looks like it’s Howell’s job to lose.
With the defeat against the Browns, the Commanders were eliminated from postseason contention and started Howell in the Week 18 finale. The 22-year-old finished his lone appearance on the season 11-for-19 for 169 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception, while adding five carries for 35 yards and a score in a 26-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
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Publish Date:2023-02-09 04:49:48