Report: WFT's Garrett Gilbert to Start vs. Eagles; Heinecke, Allen in COVID Protocols

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 21, 2021

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 13: Quarterback Garrett Gilbert #3 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Washington Football Team will trot out Garrett Gilbert as its starting quarterback on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, per the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo, after Taylor Heinecke and Kyle Allen were unable to clear the league's COVID-19 protocols. 

It's a key game for both teams, with each sitting at 6-7 and jockeying for a potential wild-card berth.

It's a tough spot for the 30-year-old Gilbert, who has made just one start in his NFL career and only seven appearances in total after being a sixth-round pick by the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 draft. 

In his lone start for the Dallas Cowboys last season, Gilbert finished 21-of-38 for 243 yards, a touchdown, an interception and two sacks. The Cowboys lost the matchup. For his career, he's thrown for 283 yards, a score and a pick.

Most of his time in the NFL has been spent on practice squads with the Rams, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers and the Cowboys. 

Washington only signed him on Friday from New England's practice squad. Another practice squad player, Kyle Shurmur, will serve as his backup. 

The matchup between Washington and the Eagles was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon but postponed until Tuesday after the WFT's COVID-19 outbreak—one of three games that were postponed this week.

On Saturday, the team had 20 players on the league's Reserve/COVID-19 list, though several players—including key defensive lineman Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat—have since been cleared to play.

Gilbert will face a Philadelphia defense giving up 227.1 passing yards per game (13th) but is tied for 30th with just 21 sacks on the year. Expect the Eagles to dial up the pressure to test the journeyman quarterback on Tuesday.