Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke will start on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers after Carson Wentz underwent surgery on a fractured ring finger on his throwing hand, coach Ron Rivera announced Tuesday.
Rookie Sam Howell will back up Heinicke, Rivera said.
Wentz had his surgery Monday in Los Angeles and while the team did not disclose a timeline for his return, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Wentz was informed by doctors that he’s looking at a four-week recovery.
Wentz fractured his right ring finger in Washington’s 12-7 win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
Heinicke started 15 games last season, throwing for 20 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. His legs could provide a spark for an offense that needs one. The Commanders scored a combined 55 points in the first two games but only 47 in the ensuing four games.
In six games, Wentz has thrown for 1,489 yards and 10 touchdowns — tied for fifth in the NFL — with six interceptions, third most in the league. Wentz’s Total QBR of 36.0 ranks 27th in the NFL.
The team traded three draft picks for Wentz and a 2022 second-round choice. The Commanders surrendered second- and third-round picks in 2022 plus a conditional pick in 2023 that will be a second-rounder if Wentz plays 70% of Washington’s offensive snaps.
ESPN’s John Keim contributed to this report.
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