Ever since losing to the Cowboys in Week 14, the Washington Football Team has received a lot of bad news, mostly in the form of a COVID-19 outbreak that put much of the roster in flux.
And on Tuesday, hours before the franchise is scheduled to hit Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Eagles, Ron Rivera’s squad was unlucky once again.
Neither Taylor Heinicke nor Kyle Allen was able to test out of the COVID protocols, meaning Garrett Gilbert is in line to start in Philadelphia, according to multiple reports.
Allen, who went on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Dec. 15, and Heinicke, who joined him a couple days later, would’ve been major boosts to coordinator Scott Turner’s offense on Tuesday.
So, Turner will have to do what he can with Gilbert, who was signed from the Patriots’ practice squad last Friday and who has just three practices with the Burgundy and Gold to lean on.
While the postponement of the matchup from Sunday to Tuesday helped Washington a good amount — the defensive line is in a far better place than it was, for example — the ultimate hope was that one of the more experienced quarterbacks would return for the meeting with the Eagles.
Brandon Scherff, by the way, landed on the list on Monday, so he’ll miss the action, too.
Gilbert has started just once in his NFL career, and that start came last year when he was a member of the Cowboys. He went 21-of-38 for 243 yards and one touchdown to go along with an interception. He’s thrown six additional passes across six other appearances as a pro.
Now, thanks to a pandemic that’s still very much ongoing, Gilbert will step into the huddle for a team he barely knows that’s in the middle of a very tight Wild Card race. Washington has succeeded as underdogs under Rivera before, but this represents the club’s stiffest challenge yet