Sam Howell is set to receive an opportunity to be the starting quarterback with the Washington Commanders, and Ron Rivera offered some context around the expectation.

Rivera said part of his faith in the former North Carolina QB is that the organization studied him when he came out of college as a junior.

“So when the opportunity came for us to draft him, we did, and we did a lot of research prior to the draft,” Rivera said. “It just so happened that he was available in the 5th round and we took care of all of our other needs. And we took a shot. He’s done exactly what we thought he was, he throws the ball the way we think he’s capable of, and so going into this season, we need to find out, and the only way to do that is by giving him an opportunity. Just telling him, it’s yours if you earn it and that’s the most important thing, he’s gotta earn this.”

Rivera was asked why Howell wasn’t put in before given this faith. He said it’s because of Howell’s learning curve and other veteran players on the roster.

“We had an opportunity to play him, played him in the Dallas game, and he showed us some things, he really did,” Rivera said. “… I feel comfortable going forward.”