Commanders name Taylor Heinicke as starter ahead of Packers game; Carson Wentz sidelined with broken finger

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The Washington Commanders have named a new starting quarterback for Week 7 ahead of their matchup against the Green Bay Packers.

Head coach Ron Rivera said Taylor Heinicke will be under center Sunday. 

Heinicke takes over after Carson Wentz broke a finger during Thursday’s 12-7 win over the Chicago Bears.

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Taylor Heinicke of the Washington Commanders on the sidelines against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of a preseason game at M and T Bank Stadium Aug. 27, 2022, in Baltimore.

Taylor Heinicke of the Washington Commanders on the sidelines against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of a preseason game at M and T Bank Stadium Aug. 27, 2022, in Baltimore.
(Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

After undergoing surgery in Los Angeles Tuesday, Wentz commented on Instagram. 

“Surgery went great yesterday and I’ll attack rehab with everything I have because that’s all I know how to do! Appreciate all the prayers — be back stronger soon!” he wrote. 

According to a report by the NFL Network, Wentz is expected to be out for 4 to 6 weeks.

Wentz has not yet been placed on injured reserve.

Heinicke has some familiarity with the starting quarterback role within the Commanders’ offensive system.

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Taylor Heinicke (4) of the Washington Commanders throws a pass in the second quarter that led to the team's first touchdown in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium Aug. 20, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo.

Taylor Heinicke (4) of the Washington Commanders throws a pass in the second quarter that led to the team’s first touchdown in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium Aug. 20, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo.
(Jason Hanna/Getty Images)

He started in the team’s wild-card playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Alex Smith could not start due to injury during the 2020-2021 NFL playoffs.

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Last season, the former XFL star threw 20 touchdown passes while racking up 3,419 passing yards as Washington’s starter.

Taylor Heinicke (4) of the Washington Football Team reacts during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at FedEx Field Oct. 10, 2021, in Landover, Md. 

Taylor Heinicke (4) of the Washington Football Team reacts during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at FedEx Field Oct. 10, 2021, in Landover, Md. 
(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

“Because of the familiarity in the things we do, it’ll be an easy transition for us. With Taylor, there is always that ability to run the ball,” Rivera said Tuesday during a media session.

Washington sits at 2-4 and last place in the NFC East. The team trails the third-place Dallas Cowboys by two games.

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Rookie Sam Howell will back up Heinicke Sunday, while quarterback Jake Fromm was signed to the practice squad.

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