Heading into Week 15, it looked like the Philadelphia Eagles were being handed a freebie win. Their opponent, the Washington Football Team, had been decimated by a COVID-19 outbreak, forcing 20-plus players to be placed on COVID-IL during the days leading up to their game with Philly. Washington was signing players off the street to play.
Much to the annoyance of Eagles fans everywhere, the NFL decided to step in. It postponed the crucial NFC East showdown to Tuesday in an attempt to give Washington players time to test negative and return to the lineup.
The Eagles were not happy about the postponement
On the outside looking in, the NFL stepping in was the logical move. Washington could barely field a team, and forcing the remaining players to play would’ve put the Eagles’ respective players at risk of infection.
However, that didn’t stop the Eagles from voicing their frustration. Several players took to Twitter with their complaints. They were looking forward to playing a depleted Washington roster, or they were looking forward to a potential free win via forfeit.
It’s also worth pointing out the Eagles now have to operate on short rest the following week when they play the New York Giants — a team that has already beaten Philly once this year.
However, despite the Eagles’ tireless calls of unfair treatment, the NFL stuck with its decision to have the game played on Tuesday night. Since then, numerous Washington players have been activated off the COVID-19 list, which is excellent news for their chances of fielding a serviceable roster come kickoff.
The Eagles may be without starting left guard Landon Dickerson
However, while Washington has been getting healthier with each passing day, the Eagles actually took a noticeable hit to their starting lineup. They placed rookie Landon Dickerson, their starting left guard, on the COVID-IL.
The Eagles may not have left guard Landon Dickerson available for Tuesday night’s game against Washington.
Dickerson was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list Sunday. If asymptomatic and vaccinated, Dickerson could test off the list in time to play but it’s a short window for that to happen.
Dickerson has started the last 10 games for the Eagles. Sua Opeta and Jon Toth are both options to move into the starting lineup along with right guard Nate Herbig.Josh Alper, Pro Football Talk
Dickerson being placed on the COVID-IL on Sunday doesn’t 100% guarantee he’ll be there Tuesday. However, the odds of him returning to the lineup by then are undoubtedly slim. The Eagles could easily have to play without their starting left guard.
Philly’s playoff odds may rest on Tuesday’s game
A loss to Washington this Tuesday wouldn’t knock the Eagles out of the postseason picture altogether. However, it would make their path to a playoff spot tough. Washington and Philadelphia are both 6-7 at the moment — whoever wins Tuesday would get an immediate leg up in the standings.
The Eagles look equipped to handle Washington’s streaky defense and lackluster offense on paper. However, a depleted offensive line could easily change that. The Eagles rely on their run game quite a bit.