The Philadelphia Eagles placed Quez Watkins and Jason Huntley on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to an official announcement from the team.
While we certainly hope both players are doing well, Watkins is the bigger news item here since he’s a starter and Huntley is a practice squad member.
If he’s not vaccinated, Watkins is automatically ineligible to return to the roster for at least 10 days. If he is vaccinated, Watkins must produce two negative COVID tests at least 24 hours apart in order to be activated. Based on precedent, there’s a decent chance Watkins misses this week’s game against the Washington Football Team.
If that’s the case, well, that’s not a good outcome for the Eagles. Watkins ranks third on the team in receiving yards. He’s arguably their best big play threat as he leads the team in yards per reception.
Watkins’ absence would mean more playing time for ... that’s right, Jalen Reagor. It’s already not ideal that the 2020 first-round pick has been getting a large chunk of snaps. Maybe he can step up in Watkins’ absence?! Lol. Everyone will believe it when they see it.
Reagor, DeVonta Smith, and either J.J. Arcega-Whiteside or Greg Ward figure to be the team’s top three receivers in 11 personnel. They’re currently the only four wide receivers on the 53-man roster. The team also has John Hightower, KeeSean Johnson, and Deon Cain available on the practice squad. And, hey, the Miami Dolphins waived old friend Travis Fulgham on Monday (though I doubt the Eagles would be looking to bring him back to play snaps after deciding he’s not even good enough for their own PS).
Hightower seems bound to be elevated considering the Eagles have often used practice squad protections on him this season. Besides, they previously bumped him up for a game that JJAW missed.
Though potentially missing Watkins isn’t great, the Eagles are fortunate they aren’t dealing with the kind of availability issues that Washington is sorting through ahead of this weekend’s matchup. The Football Team could be without multiple key players on Sunday.