The Philadelphia Eagles added 12 players to their reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday afternoon. The entire group in alphabetical order:
LB Genard Avery
DT Fletcher Cox
S Marcus Epps
TE Dallas Goedert
OG Nate Herbig
RB Jordan Howard
C Jason Kelce
CB Avonte Maddox
S Rodney McLeod
RB Boston Scott
LB Alex Singleton
TE Jack Stoll
If these development were to emerge during a normal week, well, that wouldn’t be very good news for the Eagles or these players!
But, as it turns out, it’s not a normal week. With the Eagles having officially clinched a playoff berth, they don’t have a ton to play for in Week 18. There’s been thought that they’re likely to rest their starters anyway, especially when one hearkens back to the team’s conservative approach with players in training camp (see: shorter practices).
That these players have been added to the COVID list doesn’t mean they’re definitely unavailable to play in Week 18. Due to the new NFL-NFLPA protocols, unvaccinated players only have to miss five days at most (instead of 10) before being eligible to return. Vaccinated players can return even sooner as long as they self-report as asymptomatic and can provide one negative test.
But the Eagles might actually prefer to have a number of these players — especially key veterans such as Cox, Kelce, and McLeod — remain on the COVID list ahead of Saturday’s game. Why? Well, it would allow them to elevate a large number of their practice squad players to the active roster ... instead of just the normal maximum of two elevations.
Another benefit to the Eagles and the players who were added to this list is that they’re exempt from being subject to testing for 90 days if they tested positive for COVID. In other words, testing positive now ensures their playoff availabilty.
So, is it just a coincidence than 12 players went on this list on Monday? Is this really happening if Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys was a must-win affair?
Regardless, it’s the current reality. There’s a good chance all of these players will test out of protocol at some point ahead of the team’s wild card matchup set to take place between January 14 and January 16.
Fully vaccinated players are only tested if they’re symptomatic, randomly selected or volunteer. Entering playoff time, it’d make sense for more players to get tested Mondays, starting the 5-day clock early to not miss games. And once you test positive, you’re not tested again. https://t.co/pThXwh3wQF— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 3, 2022
In other news, the Eagles also activated special teams contributor Andre Chachere from the COVID list. He was placed on reserve last week and missed the Washington game.