Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz has been banged up over the last two weeks, playing through a shoulder injury in Thursday night’s win over the Bears and suffering a finger injury as well.
Though Washington escaped with the win, Wentz struggled and finished 12-of-22 for 99 yards. The Commanders had a difficult time moving the ball down the field and scored their only touchdown after a muffed punt set them up inside the red zone.
While Wentz was able to finish the game, his finger injury may cost him significant time and force the Commanders to adjust their plans at quarterback.
Here is a look at Wentz’s injury status going forward and how much time he could miss.
How long is Carson Wentz out?
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Wentz will undergo surgery Monday for a fractured ring finger and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Rapoport adds that placing Wentz on injured reserve is an option for the Commanders.
#Commanders QB Carson Wentz is facing a recovery time of roughly 4-6 weeks and Injured Reserve is a consideration, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. He’s currently in Los Angeles meeting with a hand specialist because of his fractured ring finger.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 17, 2022
Per the Commanders, Wentz underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) October 17, 2022
Wentz’s absence means Taylor Heinicke, who started all but two games for Washington last season, will see extended playing time.
The former undrafted free agent was serviceable at times in 2021, completing 65 percent of passes for 3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. Heinicke’s 85.9 passer rating in 2021 is slightly better than Wentz’s 84.1 rating this season.
If Heinicke suffers an injury or plays poorly, the Commanders have rookie Sam Howell behind him on the depth chart. Washington also plans to sign former Bills and Giants backup Jake Fromm to its practice squad for insurance at the position, ESPN’s John Keim reported.
Commanders QB depth chart
Wentz’s injury could also impact the details of the trade that sent him from the Colts to the Commanders in March. The Colts receive a second-round pick if Wentz plays at least 70 percent of snaps this season. If he doesn’t hit that mark, Washington sends a third-round pick instead. Five missed games for Wentz would represent roughly 29 percent of the season.
Wentz is now slated to miss matchups with his his previous two teams. The Commanders (2-4) face the Packers, Colts, Vikings and Eagles — all teams with a .500 record or better — over the next four weeks.