The Washington Commanders’ quarterback battle has come to an end. The team’s head coach Ron Rivera announced on Friday that second-year QB Sam Howell will start under center in the Week 1 game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Veteran Jacoby Brissett, who signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Commanders in March, will serve as Howell’s backup.
The Commanders drafted Howell in the fifth round of last year’s draft. The North Carolina product started the 2022 regular-season finale, leading the team to a 26–6 win against the Dallas Cowboys with 169 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and one rushing TD.
Washington’s coaching staff was excited about Howell’s potential entering the offseason, and he was a clear favorite for the starting job at the beginning of the training camp. He took the majority of the reps with the first team and did enough to prevent Brissett from challenging him.
Speaking with reporters about his decision, Rivera said that the coaching staff is pleased with the progress Howell made so far.
“We’ve talked about seeing the growth and improvement from OTAs and minicamp,” Rivera explained. “Talked about going into training camp and continuing to grow and show us what he’s capable of. We’ve been very pleased with it.”