The Eagles’ home game against the Washington Football Team previously scheduled for Sunday has been postponed to 7 p.m. Tuesday due to a spike in COVID-19 cases among Washington players.
As of Friday, Washington had up to 23 reported players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and his backup, Kyle Allen.
The NFL for the first time this season postponed games due to COVID-19 issues. Besides the Eagles-Washington, there were two other postponements: Saturday’s Las Vegas Raiders-Cleveland Browns game was moved to Monday at 5 p.m., and the Seattle Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams game was pushed from Sunday to Tuesday at 7 p.m.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, the league said, “We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in substantial increases in cases across the league.”
The Eagles released their own statement following the news: “The NFL has informed our team that Sunday’s game against the Washington Football Team at Lincoln Financial Field has been postponed to Tuesday, December 21 at 7 p.m. ET. We will communicate with our fans in the coming days regarding pertinent gameday adjustments.”
The Eagles currently have two players (wide receiver Quez Watkins and running back Jason Huntley) on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The rescheduling means the Eagles will have a short week to prepare for their scheduled home game the following Sunday against the New York Giants.
Several Eagles players took to Twitter to express their feelings about the league’s decision.
“So we have to suffer, and compromise our schedule because of another teams mistake,” team captain and NFLPA rep Rodney McLeod wrote. “Make it make sense! Smh.”
He added: “At the end of the day it is what it is. The stage is set, let’s fill the LINC come Tuesday Night.”
Fellow captain and 11-year defensive tackle Fletcher Cox quoted McLeod’s first tweet in his own tweet and added in all caps: “PREAACCHHHHH.”
Linebacker Alex Singleton offered a simple “LOL.”
In multiple tweets, cornerback Darius Slay tweeted, “Damn I thought the team would have to forfeit!!! This crazy” and “That’s crazy.. we play Tuesday night then turn right around an play Sunday!! No Days off” with a shrugging emoji.
The postponement could have lingering effects on the Eagles, who are now scheduled to play three division games over the span of just 13 days. With four regular-season games remaining, the Eagles and Washington are both 6-7. A victory Tuesday would catapult the Eagles into the No. 7 seed, which Washington currently possesses.
Internally, the Eagles are upset about the league’s decision to postpone the upcoming game, especially considering the low number of COVID-19 cases inside their own organization. Throughout the week, the coaching staff and trainers implemented extra precautions and safety protocols to avoid a potential outbreak.
Shortly before the postponement news broke, coach Nick Sirianni said: “If they tell us where to play, when to play — we’ll play there.”