The Washington Football Team will hardly be close to full strength when it takes on the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday night in a crucial Week 15 matchup for both clubs' playoff hopes.
Washington is, at least the team hopes, on the back end of a COVID-19 outbreak within the facility. A total of 26 players have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Dec. 8. Over half have been activated since, but Washington will be down five starters for Tuesday's game, including quarterback Taylor Heinicke, All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff, and defensive backs Kamren Curl and Kendall Fuller.
Additionally, backup quarterback Kyle Allen remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list as well. Garrett Gilbert, who Washington signed off New England's practice squad last Friday will start for Washington on Tuesday. The 30-year-old has just one career NFL start to his name, which came last year as a member of the Cowboys.
Two players that were recently activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, defensive end James Smith-Williams and defensive tackle Tim Settle, have both been ruled inactive. As a result, Washington's defensive line will be shorthanded on Tuesday, even with the return of Montez Sweat (jaw).
It's also worth noting that seven of Washington's assistant coaches will be out for Tuesday's game due to virus protocols, including running backs coach Randy Jordan and defensive backs coach Chris Harris.
On the non-COVID injury front, Washington will be without key offensive skill players Curtis Samuel and J.D. McKissic once again. Samuel, who has missed nine games this season with a groin injury, suffered a hamstring injury last Sunday vs. Dallas and did not practice all week. McKissic, who's been out since Week 12, was placed on Injured Reserve on Tuesday with a neck injury.
Scherff is not the only starter along Washington's offensive line that has been declared out, either. Starting center Tyler Larsen is out for the season (also on the reserve/COVID-19 list) with a ruptured Achilles. Swing tackle Cornelius Lucas, who has started multiple games for Washington this year, is on the virus list as well. The good news for Washington is that rookie tackle Sam Cosmi (ankle) returned to practice this week and is in line to start on Tuesday night.
For Philadelphia, the extra two days have allowed the Eagles to heal up. The home side has no injury designations entering Tuesday's game, as starting quarterback Jalen Hurts is fully healthy after missing the team's previous game with a sprained ankle.
None of Washington or Philadelphia's COVID-19 related absences count towards the inactive list. Here are the full inactives for Tuesday's game...
Washington Football Team vs. Philadelphia Eagles Week 15 inactives
Washington Football Team inactives:
TE Sammis Reyes
WR Antonio Gandy-Golden
WR Curtis Samuel
DE James Smith-Williams
DT Tim Settle
Philadelphia Eagles inactives:
QB Reid Sinnett
DB Kary Vincent Jr.
CB Tay Gowan
DT Marlon Tuiolotu