Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke joins COVID-19 list ahead of Eagles game Sunday
Twenty-one other Washington players, including team backup quarterback Kyle Allen, are also on the reserve list.
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke has been placed on the coronavirus reserve list, the team said Friday, two days ahead of its face off against the Philadelphia Eagles, a divisional matchup that could determine both teams’ playoff fates.
Twenty-one other Washington players, including team backup quarterback Kyle Allen — who tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday — are also on the reserve list.
Washington signed quarterback Garrett Gilbert off the New England Patriots’ practice squad as reinforcement. The team’s quarterbacks squad is now down to Gilbert, Kyle Shurmur, and Jordan Ta’amu, who was added to the practice squad Wednesday.
Shurmur has Philadelphia roots: He played at La Salle College High School and his father is former Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Heinicke is vaccinated, as are many others on Washington’s reserve list, The Washington Post reported. If Heinicke remains asymptomatic, he could potentially test out in time for Sunday’s game. But so far, according to The Post, none of Washington’s vaccinated, asymptomatic players on the COVID-19 lists have been able to test out early.
On Wednesday, the NFL announced a new COVID-19 protocol that allows asymptomatic players to “test out” of the reserve list ahead of games. Most players missed roughly 10 days when placed on the COVID-19 list this season, but that number is expected to shrink with the new policy.
If Heinicke produces two negative rapid-result tests as late as Sunday morning, he could return to the field. But Washington would have to activate him before 4 p.m. Saturday, and if he tests positive on game day, the team would not be able to elevate another player to replace him. It would just lose the roster spot.
Shurmur signed to the practice squad in September, after 16-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury during the season opener. Still, neither Shurmur nor Ta’amu — who just signed to the practice squad Dec. 15 — has played an NFL snap.
The Post reported that Washington is taking a “wait and see approach,” and doesn’t plan to announce its starter until pre-game Sunday.
This is a developing story and will be updated.