Carson Wentz led the Washington Commanders to an ugly victory against the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football, but he fractured his finger on his throwing hand and could miss up to six weeks.
Carson Wentz, quarterback from the Washington Commanders, drops back for a pass against the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football at Soldier Field. Wentz suffered a fracture finger against the Bears, but finished the game. (Image: USA Today Sports)
The finger injury happened late in the second quarter during a pass attempt when Bears’ defensive tackle Justin Jones grazed Wentz’s hand. After the game, Wentz downplayed the injury which he thought was a jammed finger.
It’s a little sore,” Wentz told the Washington Post after the win. “But I think I’ll be all right. The chilly conditions didn’t necessarily help the jammed fingers.”
On Friday, an x-ray revealed a fracture finger. Wentz already was nursing a strained biceps tendon and shoulder injury.
Wentz got a second opinion on his fractured finger by consulting a specialist in Los Angels on Monday.
In six games this season, Wentz completed 62% of his passes. He passed for 1,489 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.
The Commanders (2-4) host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. If Wentz is unable to play, backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke will start for the Commanders.
How Wentz hurt his hand … pic.twitter.com/sDcY7Y4Aam
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) October 14, 2022
Wentz Injury Puts Commanders in Tough Spot
After winning the first game of the season, the Commanders dropped the next four to start the season 1-4. Wentz and the Commanders got off the schneid with a 12-7 win against the Bears in Week 6 to end their four-game losing streak.
Tremendous frustration,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “When you start seeing some steps go forward and then all of a sudden you go backward, that’s a tough pill to swallow.”
The Commanders face four difficult opponents over the next four weeks including two games against Wentz’s former teams. They host a home game against the Packers (3-3) on Sunday, and the Minnesota Vikings (5-1) in Week 9. The Commanders visit the Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1) in Week 8, and then head to Philadelphia (6-0) in Week 9. Wentz began his career with the Eagles before he spent last season with the Colts.
If Wentz misses the next six weeks of action, he could return to the lineup in Week 13 in a road game against the much-improved New York Giants (5-1). The Commanders have a bye in Week 14 before they host the Giants again in Week 15.
Taylor Heinicke Next Man Up
Rivera will tap Heinicke to replace Wentz. Heinicke went 7-8 as a starter last season when Ryan Fitzpatrick fractured his hip in Week 1. He completed 65% of his passes last season for 3,419 passing yards and 20 touchdowns. He also tossed 15 interceptions.
Heinicke returned to backup duties when the Commanders acquired Wentz in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason.
If Wentz misses any significant time, third-string rookie Sam Howell will earn a promotion to backup. The Commanders selected Howell out of North Carolina with a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and many fans would like to see Howell in action of Wentz is sidelined for the next six weeks.
The Commanders are a long shot to win Super Bowl 57 at +50000 odds according to a most-recent update by DraftKings. Only the Bears and Houston Texans have longer odds to win the Super Bowl. In NFC East odds, the Commanders are at the bottom of the futures board at +10000 odds to win the division.
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