Tuesday PM update: Heinicke and Allen could not clear the COVID-19 list and Gilbert will start against the Eagles Tuesday evening, per Tom Pelissero.
The Washington Football Team faces the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday to close out Week 15 after a COVID-19 outbreak forced a delay of their Sunday game. This is a critical game for the wild card race and Washington is expected to be without its top two quarterbacks due to the outbreak.
Washington placed Taylor Heinicke on the reserve/COVID-19 list on December 17 and had placed Kyle Allen on the list two days prior. They have been the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart this season since Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt.
The team signed Garrett Gilbert off the Patriots practice squad after the Heinicke news and he is now in line to start on Tuesday, per Adam Schefter. The then St. Louis Rams drafted Gilbert with a sixth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He bounced around the NFL but got his first starting opportunity with the short-lived AAF. He was the Orlando Apollos starting QB and when the AAF suspended operations after eight weeks, he led the league in passing yards, attempts, completions, and passer rating.
Washington also has quarterbacks Kyle Shurmur and Jordan Ta’amu on their practice squad and will likely elevate one to serve as Gilbert’s backup. There is still a chance Heinicke or Allen could clear the reserve/COVID-19 list before Tuesday’s game. Both quarterbacks are near the team’s Ashburn facility awaiting one last round of test results. If either can test out, they could theoretically hop on a private plane to get up to Philadelphia in time for kickoff. That is viewed by most as a longshot as of lunch time on Tuesday.