Commanders coach Ron Rivera names QB Taylor Heinicke as starter vs. Packers

With Carson Wentz recovering from surgery, a familiar face will take over at quarterback in Washington.

Commanders head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday announced Taylor Heinicke will start against the Green Bay Packers in Week 7.

Sunday will be Heinicke's first start of the 2022 season, and rookie QB Sam Howell will be his backup against the Packers. Rivera said he did not consider starting Howell, who showed great potential in the preseason.

"We think he's on track, but Taylor right now gives us the best opportunity to be successful," Rivera said of the North Carolina product.

On Monday, the Commanders announced Wentz underwent successful surgery on his fractured ring finger in Los Angeles. Wentz is facing a 4-6 week recovery time, per NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo.

Rivera confirmed that the team will make a decision to put Wentz on injured reserve later in the week.

Heinicke last started a game in the 2021 season-finale against the Giants. The fourth-year veteran started 15 games for the Commanders last season, throwing for 3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 85.9 QB rating.

The Commanders (2-4) aim to stay afloat in a competitive NFC East against a Packers (3-3) team that has lost two straight.

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