Washington head coach Ron Rivera announced in a radio interview Tuesday morning that he wasn’t yet ruling out any of the nine players on the COVID/reserve list from playing in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Speaking with 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies, Rivera expressed hope that star defensive linemen Jonathan Allen, who entered COVID protocols Monday, and Montez Sweat — placed on the reserve list last Wednesday — would be cleared in time for kickoff.
“He’ll come in and test pretty soon and we got our fingers crossed,” Rivera said of Allen. “We’ll see what happens. There’s so many things going on right now with this new virus, this new variant, that you just don’t know. So we have to kind of hope we’ll see what happens in the next few days.”
Allen is vaccinated against the coronavirus and would be eligible to return once he tests negative in consecutive days. Sweat, though not vaccinated, entered a 10-day isolation period that would allow Washington to activate him Saturday if he’s asymptomatic and tests negative.
In addition to Allen and Sweat, Washington is also down three other defensive linemen due to COVID in William Bradley-King, James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill. The group already lost star defensive end Chase Young to a torn ACL and these latest losses have forced Washington to look outside the organization for some depth should any of the affected players miss Sunday’s game.
“Our personnel department is working overtime and credit to them,” Rivera said. “We got a couple moves that we’ll be announcing pretty soon, just so you guys know. I’m not going to give you anything specific other than that, but we’ve had to hustle and try and do the best we can with some more guys. We’re bringing these guys in just in case we don’t get guys back these next few days so we’ll see what happens.”
In total, nine Washington players and one Tier 3 staff member are currently in COVID protocols. Linebacker David Mayo and tight end Temarrick Hemingway were both placed on the reserve list along with Allen and Bradley-King on Monday while cornerback Darryl Roberts and injured linebacker Khaleke Hudson have been in protocols since last week.