Leaders QB Carson Wentz underwent finger surgery, won’t play for the pack

Suspension

The center ring of Washington’s leaders will spin again.

Carson Wentz underwent surgery on Monday in Los Angeles to repair a fractured ring finger on his right hand, the team He said in the current situation. He will begin rehabilitation immediately, but his timetable for return is uncertain. The team has not decided whether to put Wentz into the injured reserve, but he will at least miss Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field, according to a person familiar with the situation.

This means leaders will once again turn to backup and fan favorite Taylor Hynek to fill the void. Rookie Sam Howell is set to act as his backup.

Wentz picked up an injury late in the second quarter of Washington’s win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday, but played the entire game without a splint or tape for protection. He then said his hand was “a little sore” but added that he would be “okay”.

Wentz met with orthopedic surgeon Stephen Shen at the Kirlan Jobe Surgical Center in Cedars-Sinai Monday to determine the next steps, which include surgery. If Wentz ends up in IR, he will have to miss at least the next four games before returning to training.

After hosting the Packers on Sunday, the leaders travel to Indianapolis to face former Wentz team, the Colts, in Week 8. A home game against the Minnesota Vikings and a trip to play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wentz’s injury is the latest in a long list of leaders, who lost starting position Chase Rollier to a knee injury earlier in the season and are still without defensive end star Chase Young (AFC Champions League). Seven other players have wasted time this season due to injuries.

A strange case of Terry McLaurin and his lack of first half goals

The change to Heinicke is the ninth time captains have changed starting midfielders since 2020, when Ron Rivera was appointed as coach. It’s also the third time the team has switched to Heinicke.

The former Old Dominion star signed with Washington in December 2020 as an emergency midfielder in the event of the coronavirus outbreak and started his first game in the team’s playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January 2021.

Heinicke was impressed enough to secure a second contract with the team. Last year, he bounced back when Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a season-ending thigh injury in his first week and led Washington to a record 7-8 as a rookie. It was clear towards the end of the season, however, that the leaders planned to find a long-term player who could extend the field vertically in attack coordinator Scott Turner.

So in March, Washington replaced Wentz and took his entire $22 million salary. The leaders replaced the 2022 second-round picks with the Colts and gave up two sets of picks – a third-round game in 2022 and a conditional third-round game in 2023. The 2023 third-round player would switch to a second-rounder if Wentz plays 70% of the leaders’ shots this season. If he loses a lot of time, that becomes less likely.

The price tag was exorbitant for a midfielder, especially a player who was traded twice in as many seasons with a slew of unflattering reports that followed. But Washington believed that Wentz could stabilize his offensive and revive his career as a long-term solution. If anything, it had the size and arm strength, and it seemed that with the right chops around it, commanders could create an even more explosive attack.

“It allows us to throw the ball more vertically than we have in the past,” Rivera said in March during Wentz’s opening press conference at the team’s headquarters. “…Vertical attack unlocks a lot of stuff, unlocks some stuff at the bottom in the scrolling game. It unlocks some of the running game, knowing that [the defense is] You wouldn’t be able to put eight men in the box. …I think it will really help us attack our opponents differently.”

Insulting leaders is not all new. But sometimes, it seems like that.

But the attack with Wentz at the helm has been long overdue for the past six weeks. Wentz took 23 sacks, tied for the top of the league, and the leaders rank among the bottom nine in net yards, third down transfer rate and scoring.

Although Heinicke lacks the preferred size of coaching staff for the center and does not have Wentz’s arm, his return could motivate the leaders – or at least help them play at the level they did last season. Injuries to Wentz’s knee and back over the years appear to have curtailed his athletic activity, limiting abuse and playbook. Hennecke’s talent for improvisation and out-of-pocket escapes to avoid pressure on Washington can help keep the plays alive and extending the leadership’s reach.

Another quarterback change, however, leaves the leaders in a precarious position during the third season of Rebuilding with Rivera. Despite changes to the roster, front desk and branding, the leaders can look a lot like the team that launched two years ago: they still need a middle ground.


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