Commanders name Jacoby Brissett as starting quarterback against the 49ers

The Washington Commanders are making a quarterback change. Head coach Ron Rivera said on Wednesday that Jacoby Brissett will start in place of Sam Howell for the Commanders’ Week 17 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

This switch comes after Howell was benched for the second straight game after another poor performance. Against the New York Jets on Christmas Eve, Howell went six of 22 for 56 yards and threw two interceptions.

“I think this is probably a good opportunity for Sam to take a break,” Rivera said during a news conference. “This is about Sam’s continued development, and things hadn’t gone as well as we would have liked for him the last few weeks, so we just think this is a good opportunity for him to watch.”

The second-year pro had shown promise that he could be the team’s long-term answer at QB. But he has struggled as of late. Howell is leading the league in interceptions with 17. It also didn’t help that he was playing behind a subpar offensive line as he’s been sacked 60 times.

Brissett, the eight-year veteran, came in relief and led the Commanders to three consecutive scoring drives in their 20-point comeback, but fell short to the Jets on a late game-winning field goal.

Brissett was originally brought in to be the back up to Howell after bouncing around the league. Before he came to Washington, he played for the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns.

Rivera called Brissett “a very, very viable player in this league,” and praised his professionalism. He also said that Howell “has a bright future in this league.”

Rivera along with a significant part of the front office are on the verge of being fired after the season concludes. This would be another significant move made by Josh Harris’ group, which includes NBA great Magic Johnson, after buying the team for a North American record price of $6.05 billion from Dan Snyder after the NFL owners unanimously approved the sale in July.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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