Commanders activating Carson Wentz comes with major caveat
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders need all hands on deck for Week 15’s showdown against the Giants, and the rest of the season in general. Having a fully-functioning Carson Wentz back in the event Taylor Heinicke loses his mojo would go a long way towards ensuring success over the final four games.
Wentz underwent surgery to repair a broken finger suffered in the Week 6 win over Chicago, which was ironically the genesis of Washington’s hot streak.
On injured reserve, Wentz missed revenge games in Philadelphia and Indianapolis. His first game eligible to return was Week 11 against Houston, but the Commanders didn’t open the QB’s practice window until Nov. 23.
Like they did with Chase Young, Washington took Wentz’s activation window right down to the wire. On Monday, Wentz was activated to the 53-man roster, roughly 24 hours before the activation window closed.
While encouraging news before Sunday’s tilt vs the G-Men, the Commanders placed center Tyler Larsen on injured reserve in a corresponding move.
Commanders roster moves: Carson Wentz activated to 53-man roster, Tyler Larsen placed on injured reserve.
Wentz’s return comes at a weird time for the Commanders.
Heinicke was seemingly on the cusp of losing his job in Week 13 before he executed a textbook two-minute drill to tie the game with a late touchdown against the Giants. Heinicke sailed multiple throws, had a costly fumble and was lucky not to throw an interception. And yet, he delivered with the game on the line.
With Wentz replacing Sam Howell as Heinicke’s backup, the latter could be on a shorter leash than what we saw while Wentz was shelved.
For now, there’s no quarterback controversy in the nation’s capital. But Wentz’s return undoubtedly puts added pressure on Heinicke to clean up his act. The former undrafted free agent typically thrives under pressure, so we’re eager to see how he responds to Wentz waiting in the wings.
Wentz’s highly-anticipated return comes at a price, however, as the Commanders will be without their starting center for the rest of the season. That job initially belonged to Chase Roullier — and then Nick Martin and Wes Schweitzer — but Larsen ran away with the gig after returning to the roster in Week 6.
The Commanders went 6-1 with Larsen starting at center. To say he provided stability to the position after Martin and Schweitzer struggled snapping the football and adapting to the offensive schemes would be an understatement.
It’s unclear who’ll start vs the Giants, but Martin and Schweitzer are in contention after Schweitzer (concussion) was activated on Dec. 3.
Talk about a double-edged sword. One important player comes back, and another replaces him on the shelf.