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Taylor Heinicke tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Eagles game

Washington’s starting QB could now miss Week 15.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another addition to the Washington Football Team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. This time it’s, uh, a pretty big one. Starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke tested positive for COVID and is in jeopardy of missing Sunday’s Week 15 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington backup quarterback Kyle Allen went on the COVID list earlier this week. Assuming he doesn’t test out of the protocol, which is now more possible (need to be asymptomatic and have ONE negative test as opposed to two), Washington will be down to their third string quarterback option. Or fourth, really, if you consider original Week 1 starter Ryan Fitzpatrick is on injured reserve.

Washington’s current options at quarterback include:

  • Kyle Shurmur
  • Jordan Ta’amu
  • Garrett Gilbert

Kyle is the son of former Eagles interim head coach/offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. He’s never played a regular season snap. He joined the Football Team’s practice squad back in September and has remained since. Aside from about 200 preseason snaps over the past few years, Shurmur hasn’t played extensively since his senior year at Vanderbilt in 2018.

Ta’amu only signed with Washington’s practice squad a couple of days ago. Like Shurmur, he’s never played a regular season snap in the NFL. He did have some success in the XFL.

Gilbert was just signed by Washington away from the New England Patriots’ practice squad. He spent some time with Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers in 2017 and 2018. Garrett offers some NFL experience with one career start and 44 pass attempts under his belt.

So, yeah, not the most ideal quarterback situation for Washington entering Sunday’s game.

Will the NFL consider rescheduling this one? That much still remains to be seen. It seems like the league is pretty insistent on not doing that. Do recall that the league made the Denver Broncos play a game last year with a practice squad wide receiver playing QB.

Another layer to this situation is what the Eagles decide do at quarterback. With Jalen Hurts seemingly less than 100%, it could be sensible to give him the extra time off and give Gardner Minshew another start. The Eagles should be able to beat a depleted Washington team with their backup QB.

Here’s an updated look at Washington’s reserve/COVID-19 list:

DT Jonathan Allen
QB Kyle Allen
S Troy Apke
DE Will Bradley-King
S Kam Curl
LB Milo Eifler
S Darrick Forrest
CB Kendall Fuller
QB Taylor Heinicke
TE Temarrick Hemingway
LB Khaleke Hudson
DT Matt Ioannidis
C Keith Ismael
C Tyler Larsen
OT Cornelius Lucas
LB David Mayo
TE Sammis Reyes
DT Tim Settle
WR Cam Sims
DE James Smith-Williams
DE Montez Sweat
DE Casey Toohill