Confusion is the standard setting for outsiders observing the Washington Commanders. The team’s current quarterback plan is no exception.

Sam Howell became the ninth different starting QB under coach Ron Rivera in three years when he made his debut in Washington’s 2022 season finale. Now the second-year passer with that one career start might keep the job. Heck, he’s the odds-on favorite, to the disbelief of some.

“No way. There’s no way,” a flabbergasted former player who has studied Howell closely said this week during the NFL Scouting Combine. “He might get the first-team reps in OTA, but he’s not going to get the red carpet to become the Week 1 starter.”

One might think this sober assessment is drunk, based on the chatter online, on-air and everywhere else.

As confusion runs rampant over Washington’s QB plans, here’s an explainer of exactly what is happening with Howell and the team as he enters his second season.


Is Sam Howell the automatic Week 1 starter?

No … but he will get every chance to win the job, and probably will do so.

Children are introduced to the game of “telephone” as a live exercise to show how information passed on from one person to the next to the next often become twisted. The story of Washington eyeing Howell for its 2023 starting role makes for a good refresher.

The very first notion of the Commanders viewing the 2022 fifth-round pick as their potential QB1 came from CBS on Jan. 14. The second sentence of the story was clear: “According to sources, the Commanders are letting potential candidates know who their likely starting quarterback in 2023 will be.”