Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz fractured a finger on his throwing hand and will see a specialist in Los Angeles on Monday, a source confirmed to ESPN.
The specialist will determine what the fracture means in terms of how much time he might have to miss. Washington hosts the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 23.
If Wentz can’t play, it is expected that Taylor Heinicke would replace him. The Commanders also have rookie fifth-round pick Sam Howell, who has been inactive for each game.
Wentz hurt his finger with 2 minutes left in the first half when, on his follow-through, his hand hit the arm of Chicago Bears defensive lineman Justin Jones. Wentz could be seen shaking his hand after that play and later on the drive. He never came out of the game, a 12-7 win for Washington.
NFL Network first reported on Wentz’s finger injury.
It has been a rocky start to Wentz’s Washington career. The Commanders have struggled to protect him, as he has been sacked 23 times, tied for the most in the NFL. Wentz has compounded some of that pressure by at times holding the ball too long.
In six games, Wentz has thrown for 1,489 yards with 10 touchdowns passes — tied for fifth in the NFL — and six interceptions, third most in the league. Wentz’s Total QBR of 36.0 ranks 25th.
Heinicke started 15 games last season, throwing 20 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions. But Washington wanted to upgrade at quarterback, viewing Heinicke as a high-end backup. 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.
If Heinicke plays, 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.
The once-mobile Wentz has been hampered over the years after tearing an ACL in 2017 and suffering a fracture in his back a year later.
Heinicke won over teammates and fans the past two seasons with his ability to escape pressure and make plays, though limited arm strength hindered his game. He worked with trainers during the offseason on increasing his arm strength.