Commanders QB Sam Howell leads list of unknowns for Cardinals in Week 1

Sep 7, 2023, 5:01 PM | Updated: 5:07 pm

Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell looks to pass against the Cleveland Browns during the ...

Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell looks to pass against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of a preseason NFL football game on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

(AP Photo/David Richard)

The Arizona Cardinals enter Week 1 against the Commanders with a laundry list of questions on their own side of the field, but what about Washington quarterback Sam Howell?

Howell is a 22-year-old in his second year in the NFL after he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of North Carolina.

He appeared and started in one game last season, throwing for 169 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also added 35 rushing yards on five carries in the win over the Dallas Cowboys.

“He is a great QB that can throw the ball inside and outside of the pocket,” Cardinals safety Budda Baker said Thursday.

“A guy that has a fast release, a young guy. There are things we think we might possibly see, but there are also things that are going to be un-scouted looks we have never seen before.”

Arizona was coy about its own quarterback situation, but it has been reported the team is moving ahead with Josh Dobbs under center.

Both teams will be facing unknowns with QBs with limited regular season experience come Sunday. Additionally, Washington will have longtime Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy calling its plays.

“He wants me to run the show,” Howell told reporters on Wednesday. “He says he wants me to have the keys to the car and he wants to be the quarterback, be the guy out there running the show. I have to be able to get people lined up. He says all the time I have to know my job but also know everyone’s job.

“…I love the control he gives me, love the responsibility he gives me. It is definitely a quarterback-driven offense and it has been a lot of fun to play in.”

Howell won the job over veteran Jacoby Brissett after fan favorite Taylor Heinicke signed with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason.

The Commanders starter will have plenty of weapons offensively with wideouts Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson. Additionally, Washington has a two-headed dragon its backfield with Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson at running back.

Arizona will have its hands full not only trying to contain the loaded talent on the outside, but limiting the athletic Howell’s scramble ability to extend plays.

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