The Washington Commanders have designated quarterback Carson Wentz for a return to practice, the team announced Wednesday.
Wentz was placed on injured reserve with a broken finger following the team's win over the Chicago Bears in Week 6 and has been out since. This now begins the team's 21-day window during which it can activate Wentz to the active roster. Otherwise, the Commanders must return him to injured reserve by the end of that period.
The Commanders have gone 4-1 since Taylor Heinecke took over as the starting quarterback. Head coach Ron Rivera has announced that Heinecke will remain as the starter, with Wentz fitting in as the backup upon his return. Rivera, however, told reporters on Wednesday that rookie Sam Howell will continue to back up Heinecke this weekend as Wentz is not quite ready.
Wentz underwent successful surgery on his throwing hand on Oct. 17 and started rehab immediately afterward. Rivera said that Wentz has remained in good shape since the injury and had been cleared to begin throwing again last week.
After the Commanders traded for Wentz this offseason, he started the team's first six games, completing 144 of 232 passes (62.1%) for 1,489 yards, 10 touchdown passes and six interceptions. Wentz also took 23 sacks, fumbled six times (losing one) and rushed for 79 yards. Washington went 2-4 in games Wentz started.
In his five starts this season, Heinecke has completed 90 of 148 passes (60.8%) for 1,031 yards, five TDs and four interceptions. He's taken nine sacks, fumbled twice (losing one) and rushed for 62 yards and a TD.
The 6-5 Commanders host the 5-6 Falcons on Sunday, followed by back-to-back games against the New York Giants, with the Week 14 bye in between.