PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Eagles improved their chances of reaching the postseason with a win over a Washington team decimated by the coronavirus.
Now they will have to enlist to face the New York Giants without coach Nick Sirianni.
Sirianni tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, a day after the Eagles won 27-17.
Uncertainty about Sirianni’s status for Sunday’s game against the Giants (4-10) confuses one of the offenses that has been among the most productive in the NFL over the past seven weeks (second in points at 29.3 per game and in yards with 388). The Eagles are 5-2 in that span.
“I did not feel well this morning when I woke up and they did the test,” Sirianni said via videoconference from his hotel room where he is quarantined. “Obviously this is where we are… I feel a little better, which is good. The rest of the week I will be in all the meetings, obviously virtually ”.
Sirianni will not be with his players this week during practice. He said the practices “run themselves.” He hopes that he can be present on Sunday.
If not, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will decide the plays and pass coordinator Kevin Patullo will direct.
“He’s very, very competitive, and at times I thought we’d fight on the court during practice, but he knows how to connect with the players … he’s a good coach,” defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said of Patullo.
The game on the ground. The Eagles rushed for 238 yards and 41 carries against Washington. It was their seventh straight game of more than 175 yards rushing, something no team had accomplished since the Chicago Bears led by Walter Payton in 1985. The Eagles are the number one rushing offense in the NFL.
The dominant offensive line overcame its starting guards Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks. On Tuesday, the line was also not counting on Seumalo’s understudy, Landon Dickerson, for COVID-19.
The Eagles have allowed 10 touchdowns through the air to tight ends. Washington’s touchdown was preceded by a complete pass to a tight end who was brought down before the goal line. Pass coverage by linebackers and safeties continues to fall short.