Commanders QB Carson Wentz has a fractured finger on his throwing hand

Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz fractured a finger on his throwing hand Thursday’s 12-7 win over the Chicago Bears and is expected to see a specialist in Los Angeles on Monday to determine next steps, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation.

Wentz was injured late in the second quarter, just before the two-minute warning. On the second and fifth, he targeted receiver Cam Sims in the flat, but as he released the ball, Wentz’s fingers were bent backwards by defensive tackle Justin Jones, who grazed the quarterback’s hand -back trying to hit the pass.

After the contact, Wentz, clearly uncomfortable, leaned over and squeezed his hand furiously to ease the pain. He did this repeatedly throughout the rest of the game, but played the entirety without tape or splint around his fingers. Wentz was 12 of 22 for 99 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions and a passer rating of 66.3. He also took three sacks to regain the league lead with 23 this season.

“It’s a bit painful. But I think it will be fine,” Wentz said afterwards. “…The cold conditions didn’t necessarily help the stuck fingers. But everything was fine. I was fine.

Wentz had landed on injury report the previous week due to a right shoulder injury which was later reported as a biceps tendon strain. He implied at the time that the shoulder injury was minor and he continued to train ahead of Thursday’s game.

His appointment on Monday will determine the severity and recovery needed for Wentz. Should he run out of time, Taylor Heinicke will take over at quarterback, a scenario all too familiar in Washington.

Heinicke arrived in Washington less than two years ago to be the team’s emergency quarterback during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, essentially serving as an insurance policy in the event of an epidemic. A month later, he started in place of Alex Smith in Washington’s playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earning a second contract with the team. He became the backup starter against last season when Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury in last year’s opener.

An undrafted quarterback from Old Dominion, Heinicke played for offensive coordinator Scott Turner in Minnesota, when Turner was the Vikings’ quarterbacks coach, and again in Carolina with the Panthers. Although he lacked starting experience, he was familiar with Washington’s system and much of its coaching staff.

In 2021, taking over from Fitzpatrick, Heinicke led Washington to a 7-8 record as a starter and became a fan favorite for his gritty play and, above all, his swooping touchdowns.

The team made it clear before the end of last season, however, that it would get another quarterback in the offseason in an attempt to end its years-long cycle of departures. Washington traded for Wentz with the belief that his size, arm strength and experience would be a boon to the attack.

But through six games, the Commanders (2-4) struggled, repeating many of the same mistakes from their past. Their offense ranks 30th in yards per play (4.83) and ranks in the bottom 10 in the league in passing yards, rushing yards, third down conversion rate and scoring, among other things. categories.

Although the victory in Chicago ended their losing streak, the match was riddled with errors and described by players as an “ugly” and “botched” victory.

“We all know that,” left tackle Charles Leno said. “A lot of Thursday’s games were ugly. But we have the ‘W.’ It’s all that matters.”

Four takeaways from the Commanders’ 12-7 win over the Bears

Wounds are partly responsible for the misfortunes of commanders.

Washington opened four centers due to injuries to Chase Roullier and Wes Schweitzer. He hasn’t had rookie receiver Jahan Dotson (hamstring) or starting tight end Logan Thomas (calf) for the past two games, is still without defensive end Chase Young (ACL), hasn’t had a safety Kam Curl for his first two games (thumb) and is now without starting right tackle Sam Cosmi due to a similar injury.

“Huge frustration,” Commanders coach Ron Rivera said earlier this month of the team’s injuries. “Especially because again, like I said, when you start to see steps forward and all of a sudden you step back, that’s a tough pill to swallow. That’s because you you potentially feel good about what might be going in the right direction, and then something comes up.

As Washington struggled, the pressure mounted – on both players and coaches. Following the team’s Week 5 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Rivera was asked about the success of the NFC East and why Washington continued to lag. His response – “quarterback” – led many to believe he blamed Wentz entirely for the team’s loss. Rivera apologized later to his players and said his comments had been “misinterpreted”. It wasn’t so much the player as the circumstances, he tried to reason. The other quarterbacks in the division had been with their respective teams and in their systems longer than Wentz.

If the team were to start Heinicke, even temporarily, the change alone could be a necessary jolt in attack due to his mobility. Wentz’s injuries over the years, to his knee and back, have seemed to limit his ability to extend play, which in turn limits the offense.

Although Heinicke lacks Wentz’s arm strength and size, he can move, and in previous seasons this has helped COs keep practices and games alive.

As COs wait for news on their quarterback situation, the team will get a short reprieve before returning to host the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 23, almost exactly a year after losing to them 24-10 at Lambeau Field. with Heinicke at quarterback.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *