The Washington Commanders will start rookie Sam Howell for their regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys having been eliminated from postseason contention.

Commanders head coach Ron Rivera confirmed the decision on Wednesday as they re-shuffle the QB deck for one final time.

Rivera swapped Taylor Heinicke for Carson Wentz at QB for last week's 24-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, which ended the Commanders' playoffs hopes.

Wentz, in his first start after almost two months out with a fractured finger, completed 16 of 28 passes for 143 yards with three interceptions.

"I think first, initially, is obviously, it would be his first start, and it would become a little bit of a circus, having to deal with all of the things that come with being a starter, but also, you look at the opponent, and who you're playing and what they're playing for," Rivera told reporters.

"Going with Taylor would have given us an opportunity to see what they're doing, how they're doing it and would have given Sam a chance to look at it if we had gone with Taylor.

"At the end of the day, at some point, if Sam ever gets an opportunity to be a starter, this would be the chance. Why not get it over with now and go from there?

"The most important thing is that we're really intrigued in terms of watching and seeing what Sam can do as a quarterback in this league."

Wentz, 30, has two years remaining on his Washington contract, having joined via trade last offseason from the Indianapolis Colts.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera made it clear he will not be moving away from Taylor Heinicke as starting quarterback, ending a potential debate before it even began.

A 23-10 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday moved the Commanders to 6-5 for the season, though they remain bottom of the NFC East behind the Philadelphia Eagles (9-1), Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants (both 7-3).

After beginning the season 3-4, a significant improvement in the past five games (4-1) has seen Rivera's side claw their way back into playoff contention following the switch to Heinicke as a starter.

Carson Wentz continues to be a topic of conversation, though Rivera sees no need for another switch.

"We're going to go with Taylor," he said, then merely replying "winning" when quizzed as to why.

"He doesn't need to play well. He just needs to play. We just need to continue to do the things we're doing.

"I'm not looking to pull anybody. This is not a competition as far as a controversy. That's the last thing on my mind. That's why we talked about doing it one game at a time."

On his side of things, Heinicke is keen to take things on a game by game basis and enjoy the role as a starter for as long as it may last.

"I take every opportunity I can get and have fun with it. Something may change in two weeks and [Wentz is] back in there. Who knows?" He said post game.

"But this week I'll have fun with it, go out there and hopefully get a win. I feel I play my best doing that."

The Commanders have another winnable game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 12, then face division rivals the Giants before a bye in Week 14.

Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz is facing a spell out of action after fracturing his finger, according to reports.

The Commanders beat the Chicago Bears 12-7 on Thursday to move 2-4 for the season, with Wentz playing the whole game. He was sacked three times and did not make a touchdown pass, throwing for just 99 yards.

However, on Saturday NFL media reported the 29-year-old – who was traded from the Indianapolis Colts ahead of the 2022 season – had suffered a fracture to the ring finger on his right hand.

Wentz, who had been suffering with a bicep issue before the game, played on with the fracture, despite being in clear pain, and will now see a specialist in Los Angeles to determine the next step in his treatment.

The injury comes after Commanders coach Ron Rivera hit back at suggestions he was not enthusiastic about the signing of Wentz.

Rivera said during his post-game news conference after the win over the Bears: "Everybody keeps wanting to say, I didn’t want anything to do with Carson.

"Well bull****. I'm the f****** guy that pulled out the sheets of paper, that looked at the analytics, that watched the tape when we were in Indianapolis.

"That's what p***** me off, because the young man doesn't deserve to have that all the time. I'm sorry, I'm done."

Rivera's outburst came after he had claimed a reason behind his team's poor start compared to the rest of the NFC East was at "quarterback", though he subsequently apologised and insisted he had not meant to disparage Wentz, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns this season.

Ron Rivera angrily hit out as suggestions he was not an enthused as Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder by the signing of quarterback Carson Wentz.

In the wake of Thursday's 12-7 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, coach Rivera was in fiery form at his post-game press conference, eventually calling a halt to proceedings himself.

ESPN this week quoted an unnamed source as saying that the signing of Wentz in a March trade from the Indianapolis Colts was "100 per cent a Dan move".

Wentz came into the Bears game carrying a bicep injury, managing only 12 of 22 passes for 99 yards with no TDs.

However, Rivera wanted to make it clear that his own role in the signing of Wentz was integral to the trade going ahead.

"Everybody keeps wanting to say, I didn’t want anything to do with Carson," Rivera said.

"Well bull****. I'm the f****** guy that pulled out the sheets of paper, that looked at the analytics, that watched the tape when we were in Indianapolis.

"That's what p***** me off, because the young man doesn't deserve to have that all the time. I'm sorry, I'm done."

The expletive-laden torrent from Rivera followed an assessment of how the team's 1-4 start had been wearing on his players.

Finally getting a second win, after losing four straight games, came as a relief to Rivera, prompting him to unload.

Brian Robinson Jr scored the decisive touchdown, two months after being shot in the knee and glute in an attempted carjacking on August 28.

"Honestly it's been hard. It really has. You lose four games in a row and everybody wants to get on you," Rivera said.

"They've played their a**es off. They've played their a**es off for everybody. They come out, they show up, and they work hard, they don't complain.

"They hear all this stuff and they've got to deal with that. I respect them for that because they're resilient."

Carson Wentz was as inconsistent as ever in his Washington Commanders debut, but he has the support of head coach Ron Rivera.

Wentz, who was traded to Washington from the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, made his first Commanders start in Sunday's 28-22 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The quarterback was typically unpredictable in his play as he threw four touchdown passes and two interceptions.

However, the second of two TD passes for rookie Jahan Dotson put Wentz's new team in a position to win and showed why he has the trust of Rivera.

"I'll take antacids," Rivera said. "We're going to ride with him, we'll go with the good, we'll go with the bad.

"We did a lot of research on him, and we felt comfortable and confident that this is a guy we need around here, a guy that has some courage."

Wentz added: "I've played a lot of football, I've seen the ups and the downs.

"I know from the past trying to do too much in those situations can come back to haunt you. I believed in them and guys made plays when it mattered."

Rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr sustained "non-life-threatening injuries" during an attempted armed robbery or carjacking, the Washington Commanders confirmed on Sunday.

According to widespread reports, local police in Washington said the 23-year-old had been the victim of a shooting.

The Commanders posted a statement on Twitter confirming he was receiving treatment in hospital, but that his injuries were not a threat to his life.

"We have been made aware that Brian Robinson Jr was the victim of an attempted armed robbery or carjacking in Washington, D.C," the statement read.

"He sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is currently being treated at the hospital, where team officials are on-site with him. We ask that you please respect Brian's privacy at this time."

Robinson had impressed to the point where he appeared to have made himself a starter ahead of the new NFL season, playing in two preseason games earlier this month, recording 14 carries for 57 yards and scoring one touchdown.

Commanders coach Ron Rivera was among those who visited Robinson in hospital, and he also provided an update on social media.

"I just got done visiting with Brian. He is in good spirits and wanted me to thank everyone for their kind words, prayers and support," Rivera wrote.

"He wants his teammates to know he appreciates them all for reaching out and he loves them all and will be back soon doing what he does best."

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