Commanders activate Carson Wentz from IR but lose critical piece of O-line

Commanders activate Wentz but lose critical piece of O-line originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Fresh off their Week 14 bye, the Washington Commanders made a pair of notable roster moves on Monday on the offensive side of the football.

Quarterback Carson Wentz, who’s been out since Week 6 with a fractured finger on his throwing hand, was activated to the 53-man roster. Starting center Tyler Larsen was moved to Injured Reserve in a corresponding move.

Wentz, who started Washington’s first six games of the 2022 campaign, will return as the backup; Taylor Heinicke has led the Commanders to a 5-1-1 record in his seven starts.

Last Monday, Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera said there wasn’t a temptation to return to Wentz after the bye week. Rivera said he was “pleased” with some of the things Heinicke did against the Giants and believes the franchise is “in a good spot” with him under center for the stretch run.

“I feel comfortable with Taylor,” Rivera said last Monday. “But when Carson’s activated, he will be the primary backup and we’ll go from there.”

However, Wentz’s return to the active roster comes at a price. Larsen will miss the remainder of the regular season, at a minimum. Losing Larsen is a tough blow for the Commanders’ offensive line, as he filled in admirably since becoming the team’s starting center in Week 6.

Larsen injured his knee during Washington’s Week 13 tie against the Giants. Following the game, the center tweeted “#SaferFields,” taking a shot at the slit-film field turf at MetLife stadium that’s established a reputation for being one of the NFL’s worst playing surfaces.

With Larsen out, the Commanders have a couple of options at center. Veteran Nick Martin filled in for Larsen in Week 13, but Washington could also opt to start Wes Schweitzer, who has experience playing all three interior offensive line spots.

“We’ve got a whole week and a half to prepare,” Rivera said last Monday about the plans at center moving forward. “We can make that decision as we get closer.”

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