The Washington Football Team should have its starting quarterback ready to go when the club travels to Philadelphia for a Week 15 contest against the Eagles this Sunday.
Taylor Heinicke was a full participant in Wednesday's practice for Washington, just three days after he was unable to finish the team's Week 14 loss to Dallas due to knee and elbow injuries.
"I feel good. Just a little banged up, little sore," Heinicke told local media via Zoom following Wednesday's practice. "But I feel good, should be fine on Sunday. I felt good today at practice, so everything is pretty smooth sailing right now."
Although Heinicke suffered both knee and elbow injuries against the Cowboys, the quarterback said on Wednesday it's only the latter ailment that is still bothering him.
"Definitely the elbow. Some bruising there. It's tender and hurts a little bit," he said. "The knee, thank god, is fine. Dude's helmet just hit me right there on the knee cap, bruised it a little bit but nothing structurally."
Heinicke then went on to say that his elbow did not hurt when he threw the football during Wednesday's practice session, calling it "all-around good news."
Just minutes before Heinicke joined the Zoom call on Wednesday, Washington head coach Ron Rivera spoke with local media and offered a vote of confidence for his quarterback as well.
"He practiced well today," Rivera said. "I know there was some concern about his elbow, more so than anything else. It's been sore. He's treated it the last three days and then came out today and didn't seem to really have any issues."
Heinicke's availability for Sunday's game is needed more so now than ever. Backup quarterback Kyle Allen -- who came on in relief for Heinicke on Sunday -- was one of seven Washington players to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, bringing the team's total to 17 players on the list. Allen's status for Sunday is unclear. Vaccinated players must return two negative tests 24 hours apart in order to return. Unvaccinated players are required to miss 10 days at a minimum.
If Heinicke is unable to play on Sunday, practice squad quarterback Pat Shurmur will be Washington's starter. As it stands now, Shurmur is expected to be the backup. The team also signed quarterback Jordan Ta'amu, Heinicke's former XFL teammate, to the practice squad on Wednesday for some added reassurance.
Heinicke and Allen have been teammates for multiple seasons, both in Carolina and now in Washington. If Allen is unable to return in time for Sunday's game, his presence will be missed.
"He sometimes sees things that I don't see," Heinicke said. "You guys know, sometimes I get emotional on the sideline when things aren't going well. I know he's younger than me, but he's also played more games than I have. We help each other out tremendously. I'm gonna miss him this week if he's not able to be back."
Although Washington will likely be shorthanded for Sunday's game against the Eagles, Heinicke understands the situation is out of his control. The quarterback is ready to take on the challenge.
We've dealt with adversity all year this year. We've had guys go down, guys step up and play. It's just furthermore for this week. We have confidence in all our guys," Heinicke said. "We feel comfortable with who we got. It should be an interesting one on Sunday, but we feel good about it."