Eagles HC Nick Sirianni Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of Week 16 vs. Giants

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 22, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 21: Head coach Nick Sirianni of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to a game against the Washington Football Team at Lincoln Financial Field on December 21, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Wednesday that head coach Nick Sirianni tested positive for COVID-19. 

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

<a href="https://t.co/NI5cfkKpEb">pic.twitter.com/NI5cfkKpEb</a>

Sirianni said passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo would serve as the team's acting head coach if he's unavailable to be on the sidelines for Sunday's matchup with the New York Giants:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

The above is if Sirianni isn’t cleared before Sunday. Stresses everything will be run the same way as normal leading up to the game, as he’ll run things remotely.

Dave Spadaro @EaglesInsider

Head coach Nick Sirianni said "I wasn't feeling great this morning" and tested positive for COVID. He will conduct meetings virtually all week. Practice "runs itself, to be honest," he said. "Business as usual," he said.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlyEaglesFly?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FlyEaglesFly</a>

Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen would handle play-calling duties in Sirianni's absence, the head coach added.

In his first year as the Eagles head coach, Sirianni has led the team to a 7-7 record, keeping them firmly in the playoff chase. Currently only a tiebreaker separates the Minnesota Vikings in the final wild-card berth from the Eagles, who sit eighth in the NFC. The New Orleans Saints are also 7-7 and ninth in the conference, setting up an intriguing final three weeks. 

Here is the remaining schedule for each team:

  • Vikings: Los Angeles Rams (10-4), Green Bay Packers (11-3), Chicago Bears (4-10)
  • Eagles: Giants (4-10), Washington Football Team (6-8), Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
  • Saints: Miami Dolphins (7-7), Carolina Panthers (5-9), Atlanta Falcons (6-8)

While the Eagles got off to a rough start under Sirianni, going 2-5 in the early going, they've gone 5-2 since. The 40-year-old adjusted to a run-heavy attack behind quarterback Jalen Hurts, one of the better offensive lines in the NFL and a running back platoon led by Miles Sanders. 

The Eagles are gashing teams on the ground, averaging an NFL-best 165.6 yards per game. That Sirianni adapted based on his personnel bodes well for his future as a head coach, even if the Eagles don't make the playoffs this season. 

With three first-round picks in the 2022 draft, more reinforcements are coming. And while there will big decisions to be made about the quarterback position and whether Hurts is the right option, the Eagles appear to be on the right track with Sirianni at the helm.