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Carson Wentz to start for Commanders, Ron Rivera benches Taylor Heinicke

Mike Florio and Chris Simms evaluate Mac Jones’ illegal hit against Eli Apple, which the NFL will fine the QB $11,139 for, and explain why there’s no excuse for a dirty play like that.

The Commanders have a new starting quarterback. Their old starting quarterback.

Carson Wentz will start Sunday’s game against the Browns, the team announced.

Wentz replaced Taylor Heinicke during last week’s loss to the 49ers, and as PFT has reported this week, coach Ron Rivera was planning a Wednesday morning decision about which one of them would start against the Browns.

So far this season the Commanders are 5-3-1 in games started by Heinicke and 2-4 in games started by Wentz, although their stats are very similar: Wentz has a 62.9 percent completion rate with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions, while Heinicke has a 62.2 percent completion rate with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

If the Commanders win their final two games, Sunday against the Browns and in Week 18 against the Cowboys, they will be a wild card team. Rivera thinks it’s Wentz who gives them the best chance of doing that.