QB Garrett Gilbert to start for Washington vs. Eagles; Taylor Heinicke still in COVID-19 protocols

Garrett Gilbert will get the start for the Washington Football Team Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and backup Kyle Allen did not clear COVID-19 protocols ahead of the game, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported, per sources informed of the situation. Both QBs continue to test positive. 

Washington held out hope it could get back several players who were on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which caused the game to be moved from Sunday to Tuesday. Defensive tackle Tim Settle did clear protocol and will return tonight, Garafolo reported. 

Washington signed Gilbert off the New England Patriots practice squad on Friday when it placed Heinicke on the COVID-19 list. Despite being with the team less than a week, Gilbert will get the start over Kyle Shurmur, who has been on the Washington practice squad this season.

Gilbert is familiar with Washington’s scheme, having worked with coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner in Carolina back in 2018. Rivera said in recent days he was pleased with how much recall Gilbert had of the offense from his Panthers days.

The 30-year-old Gilbert started one game for the Dallas Cowboys last year, completing 55.3% of his passes for 243 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a loss to Pittsburgh.

Sitting at 6-7, Washington would overtake Minnesota for the No. 7 seed in the NFC with a win over rival Philadelphia on the road. To do that, it will need a bunch of backups to shine, starting with a third-string QB who has only been with the team for a handful of days.

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