The Washington Football Team, already dealing with injuries to quarterback Taylor Heinicke and leading receiver Terry McLaurin, now faces uncertainty with its best defensive player.
Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, who leads Washington with 7 ½ sacks, was among four players Washington placed on the COVID-19 Reserve list Monday following positive tests, the team announced.
The news that Allen had tested positive was first reported by J.P. Finley of NBC Sports Washington.
Because Allen is vaccinated, he could be cleared to play by Sunday, and it doesn’t hurt that he tested positive early in the week. According to NFL rules, vaccinated players who test positive can return to the team after two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. Unvaccinated players have to wait a minimum of 10 days before returning.
Washington was without three defensive players – Montez Sweat, James Smith-Williams and former Eagle Casey Toohill – for its 27-20 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.
Allen is tied with Javon Hargrave of the Eagles and Jeffrey Simmons of the Titans for the NFL sack lead among defensive tackles with 7 ½. He also has 25 quarterback hits – 5th-most in the league - and nine tackles for loss.
In five seasons out of Alabama, Allen has 24 ½ sacks and 70 QB hits. He’s played in 60 of a possible 61 games since the start of the 2018 season.
Washington also placed linebacker David Mayo, defensive end William Bradley-King and tight end Temarrick Hemingway on the COVID-19 Reserve list.
Mayo, in his seventh season, made his first start of the year Sunday against Dallas and had two tackles. Bradley-King is a rookie seventh-round pick out of Baylor. He has not played this year. Hemingway, in his sixth season out of South Carolina State, signed with Washington's practice squad last month. He has one catch for 10 yards in parts of six seasons since the Rams drafted him in 2016.
The Eagles and Washington play twice in the next three weeks, at the Linc on Sunday and at FedEx Field on Jan. 2.
With four weeks left in the season, the Eagles and Washington are both 6-7, as are the Vikings, Falcons and Saints, who the Eagles have defeated.
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