Washington commanders activated quarterback Carson Wentz out of injured reserve, but he won’t return to the starting lineup.
Washington coach Ron Rivera said last week that when Wentz returns he will be Taylor Heinicke’s main replacement when the Commanders (7-5-1) host the New York Giants (7-5-1) Sunday night.
“I feel comfortable with Taylor,” Rivera said.
Washington had until Wednesday to activate Wentz or leave him in reserve.
The move comes the same day Washington placed center Tyler Larsen on injured reserve. Larsen tore the meniscus in his right knee in the Dec. 4 tie against the Giants and will miss the rest of the season.
Wentz hasn’t played since breaking his right ring finger in an Oct. 13 win over the Chicago Bears. While he was gone, the commanders went 5-1-1 under Heinicke.
Although his 42.5 quarterback rating ranks 26th, Heinicke won over his teammates with late game drives that either led to scores or used a lot of time to clinch a win. They praised his leadership and penchant for clutch plays.
Wentz returned to training on November 23, but was not yet ready to be active in a match. Then, before the Giants game, Wentz missed several practices due to an illness that swept through the facility.
Washington traded two draft picks and traded 2022 second-round picks with Indianapolis to acquire Wentz in the offseason. One of the picks was a conditional third-round pick in 2023, based on playing time. Wentz’s injury will allow Washington to retain its second-round pick in April. He would have to play 70% of the snaps this season for the Colts to receive the top pick. But even if Wentz started the last four games, he would be below that figure.
Wentz threw 10 touchdowns to six interceptions in the first six games.
Larsen’s injury dealt a crucial blow to the offensive line, which had begun to rely more on power runs between tackles. His muscle on the inside helped this strategy. He was the main replacement for starter Chase Roullier, who is out for the season with a torn right MCL.
Washington has several center options on its roster, including Wes Schweitzer, who has played most of his career at guard but replaced Roullier at center in Week 3. In his only start, Schweitzer suffered a concussion and did not return to training until December 13. 1. Washington loves his run blocking.
The Commanders also have veteran Nick Martin, who has started 64 games at center, including two with Washington this season. Wes Martin, from the practice squad, can also play in the center.