(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
After the Washington Commanders narrowly missed the playoffs this season, they let go of veteran quarterback Carson Wentz, after he lost his starting job following a finger injury in October.
Taylor Heinicke took over for him, although he himself would be benched during a Week 16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, only for Wentz to return again and struggle.
This led to rookie Sam Howell starting in their final regular season game.
The thinking has been that Howell will be the starter when the 2023 season commences, but according to head coach Ron Rivera, there could be an open competition for the QB1 job, and Heinicke could participate in that competition.
Ron Rivera on Sam Howell: “He’s not our starter. He’s coming in as QB1 and he’ll get a chance to be the starter.”
He added they’re looking to add a veteran and indicated Taylor Heinicke could be in the mix.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) February 28, 2023
The Commanders got off to a 1-4 start and were expected to drop out of sight, but when Heinicke took over under center, they started to play better, as they won five of their first six games with him as their starter.
Suddenly, they had a real shot at getting the final Wild Card playoff spot in the NFC, but they fell just short with an 8-8-1 record.
Moving forward, Washington will have Eric Bieniemy, formerly of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, as the new offensive coordinator, and perhaps he will work some of that Kansas City magic in the nation’s capital.
He will have Pro Bowl wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who posted 1,191 yards and five touchdowns in 2022, to work with, as well as a nice prospect in Jahan Dotson.
Now the Commanders need to find their quarterback of the future, and that won’t be easy, but if they do so, perhaps they could make the playoffs for the first time since 2020.
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