Game #11 Washington with the biggest game in Houston since October 30, 2019

Photo by Sol Tucker for Talk WFT

Some will recognize October 30, 2019 as an homage to the Washington Nationals beating the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series just over three years ago. While not on the same scale, the Washington Commanders have a key game against the Houston Texans today.

This game in Houston at NRG Stadium is just 8.8 miles from Minute Maid Park and a short drive down south on Route 288. The Astros and Commanders are on a different path. The Texans are tanking with just one win this year, amd the Vegas likes barely have the Commanders as a 3.5-point favorite.

In case you missed the news, Taylor Heinicke was named the starter for the Commanders today with Carson Wentz not ready to go. Perhaps the bigger news was Washington will not activate DE Chase Young for this game.

“Well, decision making process is once we start practicing [Chase Young], we’re going to get to a point where we will activate. We’ve got till Tuesday, I believe it is. So if we don’t activate him [for the Houston game], most certainly going to activate him by Tuesday or by the deadline. Just now, we’ve gotten his reps going. He’s part of the practice so he provides the extra body as well. So we’ll be fine either way. It’s just a matter of ‘when’ do we play him.”

— Head Coach Ron Rivera

If Young is not activated on or before Wednesday, he won’t be able to return this season because he officially began practicing on November 2, and that started his 21-day clock to activation. He has been practicing as he works his way back from an ACL injury suffered last year on November 14, 2021 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He needed an ACL reconstruction which is more complicated than a repair. While it has been a little more than a year from the injury, Washington is being very cautious. They could certainly activate Young and play him sparingly. Once you’re activated, there is no minimal amount of plays you must participate in. Rivera has referred to this as the “pitch count” that Young will be on.

A win for Washington today would get them over .500 and closer to a real shot at a Wild Card berth. The Commanders are coming off of a huge upset win against the previously undefeated Eagles. Washington put together a full effort from all aspects, and the Commanders must treat this like a business trip. Go in and take care of business and head back to D.C.

Matchup: Washington Commanders (5-5) @ Houston Texans (1-7-1)

Date|Time: Sunday, Nov. 20 | 1 p.m. ET

Location: NRG Stadium | Houston, Texas

TELEVISION: FOX with Chris Myers (play-by-play), Robert Smith (analyst), and Jen Hale (sideline)

Vegas lines: Washington is a -3.5 favorite with an Over/Under of 41.5 points

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