Commanders could bench Sam Howell
Ahh, the new elephant in the room. An all too familiar scenario under soon-to-be-departed head coach Ron Rivera.
After another indifferent showing in Week 15, the Washington Commanders decided to sit Sam Howell. Rivera just couldn't help himself. He had to embroil another quarterback controversy before being relieved of his duties.
This season was all about learning on the job for Howell. There have been some unbelievable moments. There have been some horror shows. That's all part of the rollercoaster experience with inexperienced signal-callers.
If Rivera had given Howell more playing time as a rookie, the Commanders might not be in this mess. Instead, he waited until Taylor Heinicke essentially gave up the chance to start in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys. At least the new Atlanta Falcons starter had the team's best interests at heart.
It was just a few short weeks ago that Rivera was boldly claiming the Commanders had finally found their franchise presence under center in Howell. Now, it seems as if the leash will be extremely short at the New York Jets. The slightest error might see Rivera go to veteran backup Jacoby Brissett as he looks to end his tenure on a high.
This quarterback confusion and flip-flopping at the first sign of prolonged turbulence threatens to have huge ramifications on Howell's future. Getting sent to the benched at any stage over the next three games won't go unnoticed by those looking to join the Commanders staff in 2024. But with Rivera - who's failed to properly evaluate quarterbacks throughout his coaching career - nothing can be ruled out.