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Taylor Heinicke tests positive for COVID-19; QB Garrett Gilbert signed; Washington won't name starter until Sunday

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NFL: DEC 12 Cowboys at Washington Football Team Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Update #1: Washington officially announced today’s roster moves, and also activated Center Keith Ismael from the Reserve COVID-19 list. Ron Rivera said on the Kevin Sheehan show this morning that Ismael would likely be available for Sunday’s game. He said Ismael had the “regular flu” and would rejoin the team once he was tested for COVID-19 today. Washington was preparing to start Jon Toth if Ismael was unavailable. Tyler Larsen is still on the roster, but suffered an Achilles injury on Sunday that looked to be a season-ender.

Update #2: Add two more to the COVID-19 list

Washington’s roster situation went from WTF to ‘why bother playing?’ this morning with the news that Taylor Heinicke has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be placed on the reserve list. Kyle Allen was placed on the list earlier in the week and QB Jordan Ta’amu was signed to the practice squad as an emergency 3rd string QB. Washington is now signing Garrett Gilbert from the New England Patriots and according to one report, he could actually get the start on Sunday, despite never even taking a snap in practice with the team. Another report says that practice squad QB Kyle Shurmur, who has been with Washington all year, would start on Sunday vs the Eagles if Heinicke and Allen remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Heinicke is now the 23rd players to be placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list since this outbreak started on 12/8. Darryl Roberts has been the only player removed since then, leaving 22 players unavailable going into Sunday’s critical division game against the Eagles that has major playoff implications for the NFC. The NFL does not seem to be interested in rescheduling any games this year, despite the recent outbreaks in Washington, Los Angeles(Rams), and Cleveland. Ron Rivera was asked on the Kevin Sheehan show this morning if the team was pushing for a rescheduled game this week, but he would only say that it would be great if it happened. Prepare for the current -9 line for Philadelphia to jump to -13 or higher if the team has to rely on Kyle Shurmur, Garrett Gilbert, and/or Jordan Ta’amu to lead a depleted squad or replacements.

Washington Football Team players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list

Offense (8)

QB: Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen

OT: Cornelius Lucas

C: Tyler Larsen

WR: Cam Sims

TE: Sammis Reyes, Temarrick Hemingway(PS)

RB: Wendell Smallwood(PS)

Defense (15)

DT: Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Tim Settle

DE: Montez Sweat(IR), James Smith-Williams, Casey Toohill, William Bradley-King, Daniel Wise

CB: Kendall Fuller, Troy Apke

S: Kam Curl, Darrick Forrest

LB: Khaleke Hudson(IR), David Mayo, Milo Eifler

Washington Football Team activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list (2)

CB Darryl Roberts

C Keith Ismael