HOUSTON – Washington’s leaders will stand still Taylor Hynek A source confirmed to ESPN that he’s still playing well and the team keeps winning.
Heinicke helped Washington go 3-1 in place of the injured Carson Wentz He will start for the fifth time in a row on Sunday when the leaders (5-5) visit the Houston Texans (1-7-1).
Wentz remains on injured reserve due to a sprained right ring finger, which he suffered in the October 13 win over Chicago. He was eligible to exit IR last week, but Washington didn’t feel he was ready.
The increase of the leaders with Heinicke under center left a decision to be made to organize, however, when Wentz was activated. Coach Ron Rivera said last week that he did not want to reveal his intentions before speaking to the players. A source told ESPN that Wentz was informed of the decision to stay with Heinicke.
It’s also likely that Wentz will return to the starting lineup sooner rather than later – but only if Heinicke and the attacking and captains’ struggle start to lose again.
The current scenario with Heinicke as the starter is what one source predicted several weeks ago if the leaders had responded well to Heinicke and they were winning.
Washington made a solid investment to acquire Wentz, trading a third-round pick in 2022 and a conditional third-round pick in 2023 to the Indianapolis Colts. The teams also exchanged second-round picks last April. Wentz counts $28.294 million on the salary cap in Washington.
Heinicke’s starting decision affects Indianapolis’ conditional selection. If Wentz plays at least 70% of Washington’s snaps this season, the Chiefs will owe the Colts a second-round pick. Wentz has currently played 59.1% of the team’s offensive plays. At Washington’s current pace, if Heinicke starts another game after Sunday, the Colts will only get a third-round option.
Wentz threw a combined seven touchdown passes in Washington’s first two games, but the offense struggled in the next four games, scoring just 47 total points in that span.
For the season, Wentz threw 10 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions while playing in a new offensive system for the first time in his seven seasons. He was sacked 23 times, as a result of this learning curve, inconsistent pass protection and loss of mobility due to knee and back injuries. Wentz has a 32.5 qr.
Heinicke, who spent parts of five seasons on the offense, helped with his mobility as well as his penchant for hooking up with the top receiver. Terry McLaurin. In six games with Wentz, McLaurin recorded 36 goals and 22 receptions. In four games with Heinicke, he has 37 goals and 24 assists.
Heinicke threw five touchdowns and four interceptions but was sacked only nine times in five starts, and had an average of 46.6 QAR. He’s also become a popular player in the locker room for his underdog story—the undrafted former free agent from Old Dominion who slept on his sister’s couch two years ago—and his all-around style of play.
Rivera’s comments on Tuesday foreshadowed that decision.
“You have to look at the momentum and the mood of the team,” Rivera said a day after helping Henicke turn the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. “There are a lot of factors.”
NFL Network first reported the leaders’ decision to stay with Heinicke.
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