Friday, January 28, 2022

Washington COVID outbreak: Garrett Gilbert to start vs. Eagles after Heinicke, Allen unable to clear protocols

Washington Football Team v Las Vegas Raiders
Chris Unger/Getty Images

The Washington Football Team will start Garrett Gilbert on Tuesday night when they face the Philadelphia Eagles, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. This comes after both quarterbacks, Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen, were unable to clear COVID-19 protocols in time to be activated onto the roster and play in this divisional matchup. 

Washington has been one of the teams that have been hit the hardest by this latest outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the NFL. Those positive tests also forced the league to reschedule this Week 15 matchup to Tuesday after it was originally set to kick off Sunday.

This is the second consecutive day an NFL team that had its game postponed because of a COVID outbreak will still end up needing to start a third-string quarterback. On Monday, the Browns were forced to roll out Nick Mullens in their loss to Las Vegas after both Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum were unable to test out of protocol.

As for Gilbert, he was signed off the Patriots practice squad just four days ago. The 30-year-old is a former sixth-round pick of the Rams back in 2014 and has largely bounced around practice squads throughout his pro career. He does have one start under his belt, which came last season as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Gilbert completed 55.2% of his passes in that Week 9 matchup against the Steelers for 243 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Pittsburgh won that game, 24-19. 

Meanwhile, Washington does have Kyle Shurmur and Jordan Ta’amu on the practice squad, so one of those quarterbacks will likely be elevated to back Gilbert up on Tuesday. 

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