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Commanders coach Rivera sorry for perceived slight of QB Wentz

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Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (R) led the team to a 1-4 record to start the 2022 season. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (R) led the team to a 1-4 record to start the 2022 season. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera addressed his team and apologized for recent comments he made, which were perceived as a slight to quarterback Carson Wentz.

Rivera made his initial remarks Monday before he apologized to the team and addressed the incident again Tuesday when he spoke to reporters in Ashburn, Va.

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Rivera was asked Monday about why the Commanders have struggled to win compared to their division counterparts, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

"Quarterback," Rivera said.

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The veteran coach then expanded on the comments, explaining that Wentz, who was traded this off-season from the Indianapolis Colts to the Commanders, has "done some good things."

"I have no regrets about our quarterback," Rivera said. "I think our quarterback has done some good things. There's been a couple games he's struggled.

"You look at his numbers from [Sunday] and he was okay. His numbers he's had throughout the year, there have been times he was very solid. Then we had an unfortunate Philadelphia game and he struggled in the Dallas game. ... But the way he performed [Sunday]? It just shows you what he's capable of."

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Rivera said Tuesday that he conversed with Wentz about the comments. He also addressed the entire team in a meeting at the team facility in Ashburn.

"I told them I said some things that were misconstrued," Rivera said. "I didn't present them properly. That's on me. I took accountability, told the guys I should know better.

"I had a bad day so I figured I was feeling better [Tuesday]. Let's move forward."

Wentz told reporters Tuesday that he is not "overly concerned" with the comments.

"Coach addressed it, handled it, nothing for me that I'm overly concerned about," Wentz said. "Coach is a very straightforward, upfront guy.

"He addressed it in the team meeting, which I thought was really cool, in what he meant by it all. I feel very confident in that."

Wentz completed 62.9% of his passes for 1,390 yards, 10 scores and six interceptions through the Commanders' first five games this season. He completed 65.7% of this throws for a season-high 359 yards and two touchdowns in the Commanders' loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Landover, Md.

The Commanders (1-4) finished in third place in the NFC East last season, with a 7-10 record. They won the division with a 7-9 record in 2020. The Commanders finished in third place or last place in all but one season from 2006 through 2014.

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Wentz, Rivera and the Commanders will face the Chicago Bears (2-3) at 8:15 p.m. EDT Thursday in Chicago.

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Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen (L) makes a interception against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Thursday. The Commanders beat the Bears 12-7. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo

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