Sam Howell: I’ve been working hard all year and was waiting for an opportunity

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Eliminated from playoff contention after Week 17, the Commanders will start rookie quarterback Sam Howell in Sunday’s season finale against the Cowboys.

It won’t be the easiest task for Howell, a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina, as Dallas is still playing for a potential division title. But after watching the action from the sideline this season, Howell will now get to be a part of it.

I was excited,” Howell said of being told he’d start, via Ethan Cadeaux of “I’ve been working hard all year and I was kind of waiting for an opportunity to go out there.”

Carson Wentz started Washington’s first six games before going out with a finger injury. Heinicke started the next nine but was benched during the second half of the Week 16 loss to San Francisco. Wentz came back to start last week and played poorly in the 24-10 loss to Cleveland.

So now Howell will get a turn behind center. He noted on Wednesday just how helpful Wentz and Heinicke have been during his rookie season.

“Even [Wednesday] at practice, they were awesome to me,” Howell said. “I’m just so blessed to be in a room with those guys and they’ve really helped me come a long way in my development.”

It’s been a different year for Howell, who has been used to being on the field and actually playing throughout his football career.

“I learned how much I really love football and me not playing,” Howell said. “I learned how much I really miss being out there. It really just kind of made me appreciate the game more than I probably was at the time. I had so much fun running the scout team and helping the guys out, but I think just this whole experience this year of not playing … it really made me appreciate football a lot more than I did.”

We’ll see how much he’s learned and get a read on his readiness on Sunday afternoon.

Sam Howell: I’ve been working hard all year and was waiting for an opportunity originally appeared on Pro Football Talk