Washington Football Team star defensive tackle Jonathan Allen tested positive for COVID-19 and could miss Sunday’s pivotal game against the Philadelphia Eagles, sources with knowledge of the situation informed NBC Sports Washington on Monday.
Allen’s positive test is among another group of positives for Washington and includes at least three more players, according to sources.
In the last week Washington has been trying to limit COVID-19 positives. The team lost a number of players for Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, including defensive ends Montez Sweat, Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams.
It’s unclear how many players will miss Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, though for Allen it remains possible he could play.
The team captain is vaccinated and could clear NFL COVID-19 protocols before kickoff -- though the likelihood of that remains uncertain.
Vaccinated players can return to practice or games after two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. Unvaccinated players face much more stringent protocols, including a mandatory 10-day isolation period after a positive test.
For Sweat that 10-day period could end on Saturday with a negative test.
After winning four straight games and surging back into the NFC playoff picture, Washington took a tough loss on Sunday against the Cowboys. The loss dropped Washington's NFC East record to 1-1 and the team faces four more division games over the next four weeks, including two critical matchups with the Eagles -- who are also 6-7 -- and games against NFC-East leading Dallas and the New York Giants.
Speaking with the media before the Allen news emerged, Washington coach Ron Rivera explained the team is hopeful some of its missing defensive ends return soon.
"It’s tough because we have to follow through with the rules and there is testing daily and all these types of things that we have to go through and, hopefully, we'll catch some good news by the end of this week," Rivera said.
Asked for comment on Allen's status, a Washington Football Team representative was not immediately available.
Allen leads the Washington defense with 7.5 sacks this season and he logged another one on Sunday against the Cowboys. He’s been Washington’s best player this season and looks poised for his first Pro Bowl.
Against Dallas, Allen played 54% of Washington’s defensive snaps.