Commanders GM Martin Mayhew declined to answer when reporters asked him if Wentz will be back with the team in 2023, Scott Abraham of 7News DC reports.
Analysis: Wentz presumably needs to accept a pay cut to have any chance at returning, as he's scheduled for a non-guaranteed $20 million base salary in 2023 and has a $5 million roster bonus due March 17, per Spotrac. Having traded for Wentz last offseason, the Commanders can get out of his contract without any dead-cap charge after he went 2-5 as a starter and finished bottom five among qualified passers for YPA (6.0), INT rate (3.3 percent), passer rating (80.2) and QBR (32.7). It was a bad enough season that he may only be in the mix for backup jobs in 2023.
Jan 11, 2023 11:30 AM EST
Wentz is inactive for Sunday's season finale against the Cowboys.
Analysis: While Wentz is inactive, rookie Sam Howell is slated to start Sunday's contest, with Taylor Heinicke in line to serve as the team's No. 2 QB in Week 18.
Jan 8, 2023 12:12 PM EST
Wentz is likely to be inactive for Sunday's game against the Cowboys with the Commanders expected to return Taylor Heinicke to the starting role for the season finale and with rookie fifth-round Sam Howell slated to play as Heinicke's primary backup, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: After impressing in relief of a struggling Heinicke in the Commanders' Week 16 loss to the 49ers, Wentz reclaimed the starting gig Week 17. In his first start since Week 6, Wentz fared poorly in a 24-10 loss to the Browns, completing just 16 of 28 attempts for 143 yards and three interceptions while adding a touchdown on the ground as the 7-8-1 Commanders saw their playoff hopes disappear. With little at stake in the finale, head coach Ron Rivera appears prepared to go back to Heinicke under center while also getting a first glimpse at Howell, who has yet to make his NFL debut. Wentz, meanwhile, may have played his last snap for the Commanders. He's under contract through 2024 but has no guaranteed money on his deal beyond the 2022 season, making him a possible cut candidate this offseason.
Jan 4, 2023 6:24 AM EST
Wentz completed 16 of 28 passes for 143 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions in Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Browns. He added three rushes for seven yards and a touchdown.
Analysis: Wentz returned to a starting role for the first time since Week 6 and did not fare well. He struggled to get the Commanders' offense moving and concluded two of the team's first three offensive possessions with an interception. Things improved slightly from there, and the highlight of Wentz's game came on a one-yard touchdown rush just before halftime. Even so, Wentz managed only 5.1 yards per attempt and made several impactful mistakes, leaving the door open for Taylor Heinicke to return as the starter in Week 18, per Ben Standig of The Athletic.
Jan 1, 2023 9:08 PM EST
Wentz will draw the start at quarterback for the Commanders versus the Browns on Sunday, John Keim of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Wentz, who started the team's first six games of the season prior to breaking his right ring finger Oct. 13, replaced Taylor Heinicke in Saturday's 37-20 loss to the 49ers en route to completing 12 of 16 passes for 123 yards and a TD. With the 7-7-1 Commanders having gone 0-2-1 over their last three games, the team will turn to Wentz in Week 17. He'll be facing a Cleveland defense that has allowed an average of 201.5 passing yards per game to date.
Dec 28, 2022 5:58 AM EST
Wentz entered Saturday's contest in relief of struggling starter Taylor Heinicke, completing 12 of 16 pass attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown in a 37-20 loss to San Francisco.
Analysis: There were already rumblings of Wentz taking over for the Commanders following the team's recent skid, and that narrative will only get louder after the backup outperformed the starter (albeit in garbage time). Head coach Ron Rivera said that he will review the film and make a decision on his starting quarterback well ahead of next Sunday's kickoff against the Browns, the Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala reports. If Wentz were to reclaim the starting job, he would be immediately thrust into a tough matchup against Myles Garrett and Cleveland's eighth-ranked pass defense.
Dec 24, 2022 7:11 PM EST
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday that Wentz will serve as the backup quarterback behind starter Taylor Heinicke in Sunday's game against the Giants, Ben Standig of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Rivera hasn't completed closed the door on Wentz reclaiming the starting job at some point, but at least for the time being, the Commanders will stick with Heinicke, who has guided the team to a 5-1-1 record through his first seven outings of 2022. Heinicke has been propped up by the running game and the Commanders' defense to some degree, as he's completed 61.7 percent of his throws for 6.8 yards per attempt, nine touchdowns and five interceptions while adding 67 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries this season. Wentz posted similar numbers over his six starts prior to landing on injured reserve but was much more prone to taking sacks, so the Commanders won't deviate from what has thus far proven to be a winning formula with Heinicke at the helm.
Dec 13, 2022 11:52 AM EST
The Commanders activated Wentz (finger) from injured reserve Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Wentz stands to serve as the primary backup to Taylor Heinicke now that he's returned to Washington's active roster, beginning with Sunday's divisional contest against the Giants. The veteran hasn't played since Week 6 due to having undergone right ring finger surgery. In his six starts this season, Wentz threw 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Dec 12, 2022 9:09 AM EST
Wentz (finger) was designated Wednesday to return from injured reserve, but the Commanders will stick with Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell as their top two quarterbacks for at least one more week, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reports.
Analysis: Wentz can return to practice, perhaps with the goal of coming back for Week 13, or else after the Week 14 bye. The Commanders reportedly now view Taylor Heinicke as their starter, leaving Wentz in a backup role unless/until his teammate's performance leads to a benching. This Sunday against Atlanta it'll be Heinicke getting the start and Howell serving as the backup.
Nov 23, 2022 10:49 AM EST
The Commanders announced Wednesday that Wentz (finger) has been designated for a return to practice from IR.
Analysis: Wentz now has a 21-day window wherein he can be evaluated at practice without counting against the active roster, though he is expected to serve as the backup to Taylor Heinecke once back to full form, barring any unforeseen changes at the quarterback position. The veteran is recovering from right ring finger surgery undergone Oct. 17, and while he could be available for action as early as Sunday's contest against the Falcons, it appears the Commanders don't intend Wentz to re-enter the starting lineup. Heinicke has led Washington to a 3-1 record as a starter, and if Wentz were to play 70 percent of the team's offensive snaps this season, the Commanders would have to send a higher 2023 draft pick to Indianapolis.
Nov 23, 2022 8:05 AM EST
Wentz (finger) is expected to serve as the Commanders' backup quarterback once he's activated from injured reserve, with Taylor Heinicke set to retain the starting job "unless something changes dramatically," Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Wentz made enough progress in his recovery from Oct. 17 right ring finger surgery to resume throwing this week, but he hasn't yet been cleared for practice and will remain on IR for a fifth straight game when the Commanders take on the Texans on Sunday. Though Wentz could be available to play as soon as Week 12, the starting job will belong to Heinicke for the final seven games of the season so long as he doesn't miss time due to injury or doesn't see a dramatic downturn in performance in the weeks to come. While Heinicke hasn't posted eye-popping statistics in the absence of Wentz, he's helped lead the Commanders to a 3-1 record during his run as starter to keep the team in the thick of the NFC playoff race. In addition to Heinicke's respectable play, the Commanders are incentivized to keep Wentz on the bench due to the terms of his contract. As Ben Standig of The Athletic notes, if Wentz plays 70 percent of Washington's offensive snaps this season, it would result in the Commanders surrendering a 2023 second-round draft pick to the Colts rather than a third-round pick.
Nov 20, 2022 5:46 AM EST
Wentz (finger) has resumed throwing but won't return to practice Wednesday, Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Wentz hasn't been designated to return from injured reserve yet, and it may not happen this week given that the Commanders have already named Taylor Heinicke as their starter for Sunday's game in Houston. However, coach Ron Rivera didn't shut down the possibility of Wentz being active as the backup, and there's still some question about which guy will be the starter once both are at/near full strength. Jhabvala suggests the team is essentially putting off that decision for another week.
Nov 16, 2022 2:22 PM EST
Wentz will be eligible to come off injured reserve before the Commanders take on Houston in Week 11, and Sam Fortier of The Washington Post reports that the team is preparing for Wentz to reclaim the starting role once healthy.
Analysis: When asked about Wentz's return, Taylor Heinicke said he's prepared to return to a backup role. Heinicke could make a convincing case to remain the starting quarterback if he can beat the Eagles on Monday, but if Heinicke drops to 2-2 as the starter in Wentz's absence, the offseason trade acquisition will likely be handed the starting job back upon his return. Wentz topped 300 passing yards in three of six starts, while Heinicke has yet to hit that mark.
Nov 13, 2022 6:21 PM EST
The Commanders have officially placed Wentz (finger) on injured reserve, Sam Fortier of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Wentz underwent surgery on his right ring finger earlier in the week and will now be forced to spend at least the next four weeks on IR. As a result, Taylor Heinicke is expected to replace him under center with rookie fifth-round pick Sam Howell providing depth.
Oct 22, 2022 9:49 AM EST
Wentz, who underwent surgery on his right ring finger Monday, will sit out at least Week 7 against the Packers, and the Commanders have yet to make a call on an IR stint for the quarterback, Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Placing Wentz on injured reserve would result in at least four games on the sideline, so it's understandable Washington will hold off on an immediate decision on that front. In any case, he's now on to the recovery phase from the injury that he sustained last Thursday in Chicago. While Wentz sits out, the Commanders will turn to Taylor Heinicke under center, with rookie fifth-round pick Sam Howell in reserve.
Oct 17, 2022 4:40 PM EST
Wentz had surgery on the broken ring finger on his right hand Monday.
Analysis: Wentz picked up the injury during the Commanders' Week 6 win at Chicago. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Wentz is expected to be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks following the procedure, allowing backup Taylor Heinicke to direct the offense for at least the next few games.
Oct 17, 2022 4:06 PM EST
Wentz is expected to miss 4-6 weeks as he recovers from the fractured right ring finger he suffered in the Week 6 win over the Bears, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Taylor Heinicke will take over under center in Week 7 against the Packers and likely for a few more games after that. Per Rapoport, the Commanders are considering placing Wentz on injured reserve, though that decision won't come until the quarterback concludes his meeting with a hand specialist Monday.
Oct 17, 2022 11:54 AM EST
Wentz (ankle/biceps) suffered a fractured finger in Thursday's win over the Bears and his status moving forward is uncertain, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: It was previously reported Wentz suffered minor injuries to both his ankle and biceps, but the fractured finger is unquestionably the worst of what evidently was a rough Thursday night contest for the veteran. Wentz is expected to see a hand specialist to determine the severity of the injury and whether he's able to play through the issue. Taylor Heinicke would likely step in as Wentz's replacement if the starter is unable to play, but rookie fifth-round pick Sam Howell could also be in contention for the backup job given the Commanders' 2-4 record. Expect the team to release more details regarding Wentz's status in the coming days.
Oct 15, 2022 6:58 AM EST
Wentz came out of Thursday's win over the Bears with minor injuries to his ankle and biceps, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: It sounds like the Commanders expect Wentz to be fine, at least from a health standpoint, with 10 days of rest between the ugly Thursday win and an Oct. 23 matchup with Green Bay in Week 7. He was bothered by his shoulder ahead of Thursday's game, and it's possible that injury -- combined with the others -- contributed to his 22-attempt, 99-yard effort against the Bears. Wentz should get more volume Week 7 even if he's not 100 percent healthy.
Oct 14, 2022 10:17 AM EST
Wentz (shoulder) completed 12 of 22 passes for 99 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions and rushed twice for two yards in the Commanders' 12-7 win over the Bears on Thursday night.
Analysis: It was reported earlier in the day that Wentz was dealing with a biceps tendon strain near his throwing shoulder, and he certainly didn't look 100 percent during Thursday's forgettable statistical showing. The fact the veteran quarterback also had to take another three sacks likely didn't help his condition, but Wentz stayed away from turnovers for the first time all season and leaned heavily on his defense and rookie running back Brian Robinson with success. The fact Wentz was once again down Jahan Dotson (hamstring) and Logan Thomas (calf) also hurt his overall prospects, but he'll have a chance for better health and perhaps the return of his two pass catchers with the extended time off before a Week 7 home matchup against the Packers.
Oct 13, 2022 8:14 PM EST
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