Commanders Name Rookie QB Sam Howell Starter In Week 18 Vs. Cowboys

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sam howell

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera announced today that rookie QB Sam Howell will make his NFL debut in Week 18 vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

In Week 12, Washington looked to have a promising season that would lead to a playoff berth. But since then, the Commanders are 0-3-1 and have been eliminated from postseason contention.

With nothing to gain from a Week 18 victory, Rivera told the media Howell will be under center vs. the Cowboys. Rivera said the decision to bench Taylor Heinicke and Carson Wentz is due to the Commanders coaching staff’s desire to “learn more about [Howell].”

Sam Howell bio

Washington drafted Howell in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Waynesville, N.C.-native played college ball at North Carolina. 

Howell was a three-year starter for the Tar Heels. Howell threw for 10,283 yards and 92 touchdowns in 37 games. The 22-year-old is the all-time leader in both statistics for North Carolina.

Howell appeared in all three of the Commanders preseason games. Here’s his stat line from each matchup:

  • 9/16 passing for 145 yards
  • 10/18 passing for 122 yards and 1 interception
  • 24/35 passing for 280 yards and 1 touchdown

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