The Commanders fired OC Scott Turner. Washington never ranked better than 20th in total yards or 23rd in points across Turner's 3 seasons, although QB play was seemingly a bigger problem than Turner's play calling. We'll see who the Commanders tab as their next OC -- and what they do at QB. Carson Wentz is set to count $26 million against the 2023 cap but can be cut with no dead-cap penalty.
The Commanders announced on Monday afternoon that they've parted ways with QB Carson Wentz. The former 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft appeared in only 8 games in his lone season with the Commanders, completing 172 of 276 attempts for 1,755 passing yards with 11 TDs and 9 INTs. The structure of Wentz's contract made it so that he wasn't guaranteed any money beyond 2022, so this is a clean break for the franchise after a 1-year trial. Wentz struck out in consecutive seasons with the Colts and Commanders and may struggle to find another starting job in the NFL. It's likely we see him go the veteran backup route on the open market.
Commanders QB Carson Wentz completed 16 of 28 attempts for 143 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs in Week 17's loss to the Browns. He added 7 yards and a score on the ground, but his rushing performance didn't save fantasy managers from a dreadful day. Wentz's future is fairly uncertain as we turn the page into 2023. There's a potential out in Wentz's contract that would enable to Commanders to move on from him this offseason. It's not difficult to imagine the franchise doing so given the subpar performances we've seen from the former #2 overall pick in less than 10 healthy games. Should this occur, it would be back-to-back seasons in which Wentz blew an opportunity to be a starter after being benched for QB Jalen Hurts at the end of the 2020 season with the Eagles. We'll see if he gets another chance in 2023 but the odds of that don't seem strong.
The Commanders will start QB Carson Wentz on Sunday against the Browns. According to multiple reports, HC Ron Rivera told the team his decision Wednesday morning. Wentz relieved Taylor Heinicke in Saturday's loss to the 49ers, completing 75% of his throws for 123 yards (7.68 per attempt) and a TD. His last start came in the Week 6 win at Chicago in which Wentz broke a finger and required surgery. Washington threw the ball a lot more with Wentz behind center, averaging 42 pass attempts across his 5 healthy outings compared with 30.1 over Heinicke's 8 full games. Of course, the offense also barely had RB Brian Robinson Jr. for that stretch. We'd expect more of a rushing lean vs. those 1st 5 weeks -- but also likely some more willingness to throw. It's not an exciting fantasy offense either way. Wentz's time this season has been bad for WR Terry McLaurin's target share. He drew just 16% over the 1st 6 games, compared with 27.8% in Heinicke's full outings.
Commanders QB Carson Wentz (finger) has been activated from IR. We'll see about Washington's plan at QB, but we expect QB Taylor Heinicke to at least start this weekend's game vs. the Giants. He's been up and down over the past 7 games but has led the Commanders to 5 wins. Wentz went 2-4 over the first 6 games of the season. The biggest fantasy impact here is with WR Terry McLaurin, who's been much more productive with Heinicke.
Update: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms that Wentz is returning as Heinicke's backup.
The Commanders have designated QB Carson Wentz to return to practice. That leaves 3 weeks to decide whether to activate him from IR. Wentz has been out since injuring his throwing hand in the Week 6 win at Chicago. HC Ron Rivera has recently expressed confidence in QB Taylor Heinicke, though, amid a 4-1 stretch with him behind center. Don't bet on Washington going back to Wentz until/unless the team starts losing more (barring injury, of course). Heinicke's arrival has been good for WR Terry McLaurin's target shares, but the team passing numbers are way down from where they were with Wentz: from 248.2 yards per game to 206.2.
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