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Commanders designate Carson Wentz to return from injured reserve heading into Week 12

Taylor Heinicke might have taken Wentz’s job already.

Carson Wentz #11 and Taylor Heinicke #4 of the Washington Commanders take the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders announced on Wednesday that they have designated quarterback Carson Wentz to return from injured reserve. Wentz has been on IR since fracturing a finger in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears. He injured the finger during the game but finished out the 12-7 win.

The Commanders have 21 days to activate Wentz. If they do not activate him by the end of that window, they would have to return him to injured reserve. He is eligible to practice, but he will not appear on the injury report and the team has to formally activate him to have him on the 53-man roster.

While Wentz will get back to practice, it is entirely possible his time as a contributing member of the Commanders is finished. Taylor Heinicke replaced him in the starting lineup the past six games, and Washington has put together a 5-1 record during that time. Heinicke is not a brilliant quarterback by any means, but if the team keeps winning, there’s no reason to think they’ll replace him.

This situation is decidedly different than what the Dallas Cowboys faced earlier this year. Cooper Rush replaced an injured Dak Prescott and the team went 4-1 in his starts. Prescott returned to play as soon as he was healthy because he is the clearly superior quarterback. That is not the case with Wentz vs. Heinicke.