In a move that'll come as a great relief for the Washington Football Team and simultaneously provide a great excuse to the city of Philadelphia to get very, very upset, Week 15's game between the Burgundy and Gold and the Eagles has been postponed to Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.
The matchup was originally scheduled to kick off on Sunday at 1 p.m., but that time has been pushed back due to the COVID outbreak Washington is currently experiencing.
It's a move that carries plenty of consequences.
The most immediate and easy-to-see result of the change is that it should help Washington field a more complete roster for the showdown.
As of Friday afternoon, the franchise had 23 players on its reserve/COVID-19 list, and while at least a handful of that 23 could've conceivably returned for the originally-planned Sunday affair, the hope is that Ron Rivera will get even more of his top guys back.
Now, to be clear, this doesn't full-on guarantee that Washington's quarterback crisis will be solved or that its torn-up secondary will be back to full strength. It's inevitable that some members of the team will fail to test out of the protocols even with the new start. Garrett Gilbert could very well still be leading the offense on Tuesday, folks.
However, Rivera will no doubt take the extension. A couple of extra days, along with the possibility of more updates to testing requirements, should prove to be crucial.
So, Week 15 doesn't feel as impossible as it did before the adjustment.
That said, Week 16's trip to Dallas to face the Cowboys sure just grew in difficulty.
After squaring off with the Eagles on Tuesday, Washington is slated to visit AT&T Stadium for a Sunday night battle with the NFC East's leader. Obviously, the team's preparation for that primetime contest will be much tighter because of what's transpired. That'll be something the club has to deal with in its near future.
Is it ultimately better this way, though? Most likely. The division is essentially Dallas' already — the Cowboys hold a three-game lead with four to play — while the Eagles are in direct competition with Washington for the Wild Card. Having a better shot versus Philly is currently the more preferable part of the equation.
Speaking of Philly, their side doesn't seem to be... thrilled... with the recent developments, which is another consequence of all this drama:
If the Eagles are seeking sympathy, they certainly won't be getting it from Washington, who found themselves in Philadelphia's exact spot last year when the Steelers required accommodating. That context doesn't appear to matter to them, though, so they will continue to pop off and then try to settle things on Tuesday.
Overall, the NFL's choice to postpone this particular tilt — the league did the same with two others, by the way — is generating tons of reaction. The tone of that reaction, meanwhile, pretty much depends on which organization you care about.
But what matters most is that, while the two organizations will be meeting at a different time, the stakes of their game will remain the same. The standings don't care about what day it's played, after all; the outcome is what's important.