Philadelphia Eagles keep QBs separate amid COVID-19 surge

ByTim McManus ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles are keeping quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew and Reid Sinnett in separate rooms at the NovaCare Complex amid the surge in coronavirus cases across the country and the NFL, coach Nick Sirianni said.

"We're going to make some adjustments. I'm not there 100% yet because I don't have to be quite yet with the players not being back yet, but we're going to definitely make even more adjustments than what we need to just keep everybody safe," he said. "The quarterbacks will be in separate rooms. We're going to be even more safe with them being in separate rooms."

The Eagles' quarterback meetings are now entirely virtual. That not only keeps the quarterbacks apart, but also Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen -- the offensive playcallers -- in separate rooms.

All three quarterbacks will continue to attend practices.

The Eagles (8-7) play at the Washington Football Team on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox). It's the second matchup between these two teams in 12 days after their first meeting was moved from Sunday to Tuesday, Dec. 21, following a COVID-19 outbreak with Washington. Garrett Gilbert got the start in that game, with starter Taylor Heinicke and backup Kyle Allen on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Eagles won 27-17 and, after beating the New York Giantson Sunday, now have a 65% chance of making the playoffs.

Washington, meanwhile, has just a 6% chance of qualifying for the postseason after dropping three straight.

The Eagles currently have eight players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including defensive ends Derek Barnett, Ryan Kerrigan and Tarron Jackson. Philadelphia began implementing more intensive protocols a couple of weeks ago as the number of cases leaguewide began to tick up, including holding team meetings in the practice bubble as opposed to the smaller auditorium and switching certain meeting rooms to allow for more social distancing.

Separating quarterbacks is the latest step in trying to keep the team as healthy as possible.

"I talked to a couple other head coaches and tried to figure out what they're doing because we all know -- to win this game this week, we're going to need all hands on deck," Sirianni said. "So, what is the best course of action? And, obviously, we're talking to our doctors and our trainers to figure out the best course of attack."

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