Commanders to start QB Carson Wentz vs. Browns in Week 17

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Ron Rivera is back in Carson Wentz to lead the playoff push for the Washington Commanders.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that Wentz will start Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. The team later confirmed the move.

Rivera said he plans to announce his starter Wednesday after benching Taylor Heinicke in place of Wentz midway through Saturday’s loss to San Francisco.

“I just want to be able to talk to everyone before I make a decision,” Rivera said on Tuesday. “I want to make sure I have all the thoughts, ideas and concepts. Ultimately, decisions will be made based on what we believe is best for us going forward… Now is our chance.”

Rivera turns to Wentz, who broke his finger in Week 6 and sent the QB to the disabled list.

The Commanders started 5-1-1 led by Heinicke and returned to the postseason positions after a 2-4 start to the season under Wentz.

Rivera continued to direct Heinicke after Wentz was released from injury, but back-to-back losses to the Giants and Niners gave Wentz his job back. Heinicke sparked, but Washington needs better passing than the 206.5 yards per game he provided during his nine-game run.

After Rivera’s early fourth-quarter interception against San Francisco left Heinicke on the bench, his return to Wentz should come as no surprise. Had he not planned to end the season with Wentz at center, the coach would not have made that decision.

Now is Wentz’s chance to save the day in Washington and write a story of redemption.

The 7-7-1 Commanders are clinging to a half-game lead for final wildcard spots in Seattle, Detroit and Green Bay in two games against Cleveland and Dallas. A win puts Washington into the postseason.

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