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Commanders QB Carson Wentz activated off IR, to serve as Taylor Heinicke's backup

Carson Wentz's stay on injured reserve is complete.

Washington on Monday activated the quarterback, who will serve as the backup to Taylor Heinicke.

Wentz landed on IR in Week 7 after he suffered a fractured ring finger on his throwing hand, ruling him out for at least a month and handing the keys to the Commanders offense to Heinicke. Wentz ended up missing nearly two months, giving Heinicke plenty of time to earn the starting job.

Heinicke didn't need much time to do so, invigorating an otherwise lifeless Commanders squad almost immediately. Washington won Heinicke's first two starts and has lost just once since he took over for Wentz, going 5-1-1 from Weeks 7-13.

Heinicke's numbers haven't been incredible, but he's done more to help Washington's chances than Wentz did during his time as the team's starter. Heinicke's passing line stands at 131 for 212 (61.8 completion percentage), 1,444 passing yards, a 9-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio and an 86.3 passer rating -- marks that have proven good enough to help Washington win a number of close contests -- including Philadelphia's only defeat of the 2022 season. With Heinicke under center, Washington has transformed from a drifting, directionless squad into a club with legitimate playoff aspirations.

Wentz, meanwhile, returns to a reality he's become all too accustomed to in recent years. The quarterback lost his starting job to rookie Jalen Hurts in 2020 before being shipped to Indianapolis, where he and the Colts collapsed in the final weeks of the 2021 season, missing the playoffs and prompting Indianapolis to send him packing for Washington.

He'll once again dress for a game with the expectation of spending it on the sideline, provided Heinicke remains healthy in the weeks ahead.

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