Bills receiver Emmanuel Sanders holds on to this pass behind Washington's  Kamren Curl for a 5 yard touchdown.

Jamie Germano Poy 3

Washington’s COVID total hits 21 with 3 new additions

The Washington Football Team added three players to the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, raising the team’s total to 21 players in the health and safety protocols.

Safety Kamren Curl and centers Keith Ismael and Tyler Larsen are the latest additions.

The 18 players already on the list are (alphabetically): DT Jonathan Allen, QB Kyle Allen, S Troy Apke, DE Will Bradley-King, LB Milo Eifler, S Darrick Forrest, CB Kendall Fuller, TE Temarrick Hemingway, LB Khaleke Hudson, DT Matt Ioannidis, T CorneliusLucas, LB David Mayo, TE Sammis Reyes, DT Tim Settle, WR Cam Sims, DE James Smith-Williams, DE Montez Sweat and DE Casey Toohill.

Washington (6-7) is preparing for an NFC East road game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7).

Washington also announced the signing Thursday of free agent defensive tackle Akeem Spence, who last played in 2020 with the New England Patriots.

Spence, 30, has recorded 204 tackles, 35 quarterback hits, 10.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 109 career games (57 starts) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and Patriots.

–Field Level Media

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) hands the ball off to running back Miles Sanders (26) in the first half at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in East Rutherford.

Nyj Vs Phi

Eagles could start Gardner Minshew again vs. Washington

There doesn’t appear to be a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.

But while Jalen Hurts looks to be the No. 1 quarterback, he may not be healthy enough to play when the Eagles host the Washington Football Team on Sunday.

If Hurts’ injured ankle isn’t healed after the bye week, it will be Gardner Minshew lining up under center for the second straight week. On Dec. 5, Minshew threw two touchdown passes in a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets.

Minshew and Hurts were scheduled to split reps at practice this week, according to head coach Nick Sirianni.

“I don’t know what exactly is going to happen, just like I didn’t know last week exactly what was going to happen,” Sirianni said. “So you want to make sure you’re covered if one guy can’t play. … We’re going to do what we need to do in walk through, how we divvy up the reps. Like last walk through, both Gardner and Jalen got reps and we’ll do the same thing and we’ll see how everything goes (Thursday).”

The Eagles (6-7) remain in contention for a playoff berth and would really strengthen their case with a win over the Washington Football Team (6-7).

Sirianni added that key injured players Jason Kelce (knee), Miles Sanders (ankle) and Jordan Howard (knee) aren’t guaranteed to play but are improving each day.

“We’ll see how the week continues to go,” Sirianni said. “We’re hopeful for all of those guys.”

The Washington Football Team will be hopeful for healthy players as well.

Quarterback Kyle Allen has been added to the COVID reserve list although he could play with two negative tests. Taylor Heinicke had already been questionable with ankle and elbow injuries suffered in last week’s 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Heinicke, however, was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday.

“I threw the ball at practice, and the elbow didn’t hurt while I was throwing,” Heinicke said. “All around good news.”

Starting defensive linemen Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Casey Toohill are all on the COVID list along with Matt Ioannidis and Kendall Fuller, among others. There are a total of 18 players on the COVID list. Chase Young has already been lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

The team will likely look vastly different for this crucial NFC East matchup.

“I wouldn’t say it’s insurmountable, but it will test your depth more than anything,” Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera said. “That’s where you get concerned.”

Washington still nearly pulled off an improbable comeback win after falling behind 27-8 to the Cowboys. The defense intercepted Dak Prescott twice and was relentless down the stretch before falling just short.

Another tough divisional game awaits.

“We have dealt with adversity all year,” Heinicke said. “Guys go down and other guys have to step up and play. We have confidence in all our guys. We feel comfortable with who we’ve got. It should be interesting on Sunday. We feel good about it.”

Washington will look for its third straight victory over the Eagles for the first time since winning five in a row from Dec. 20, 2014 to Dec. 11, 2016.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (82) is defended by Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Divine Deablo (5) on a 35-yard reception in the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Washington TE Logan Thomas has torn ACL

Upon further review, Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas has a torn ACL, multiple reports Tuesday indicated.

Thomas suffered an injury to his left knee on Dec. 5 in Washington’s 17-15 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, and initial tests indicated his injury wasn’t as extensive as feared. Prior to Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, head coach Ron Rivera voiced optimism Thomas would avoid surgery.

But additional tests performed revealed the ligament tear, per reports.

He is expected to have surgery and be ready for the 2022 season, ESPN reported.

Thomas was placed on injured reserve last week, ending his season because it’s his second trip to the IR this season.

Washington signed Thomas, 30, to a three-year, $24 million contract extension in July.

He ends his season with 18 catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns in six games. He missed seven games earlier this season with a hamstring injury.

The Arizona Cardinals selected Thomas in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. After just two games with Arizona, he spent the 2015-16 seasons on practice squads before landing with the Buffalo Bills in the 2017-18 seasons. He played with the Detroit Lions in 2019 before signing with Washington in 2020.

In 64 career games (29 starts), Thomas has 189 catches for 1,183 yards with 11 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA;  Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) walks to the locker room after being injured against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington WR Terry McLaurin placed in concussion protocol

Washington Football Team standout wideout Terry McLaurin was placed in concussion protocol following Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Ron Rivera said after the 27-20 setback.

McLaurin was injured early in the third quarter on an incomplete pass in which two Cowboys were defending. After his head bounced off the turf, he was helped to the locker room and didn’t return to the contest.

McLaurin didn’t catch a pass before exiting. He leads the team with 61 receptions for 808 yards and five touchdowns, while topping 100 yards four times this season.

The third-year pro, and former third-round draft pick out of Ohio State, has 206 receptions for 2,845 yards and 16 touchdowns in 42 career games.

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke also departed early. He injured his knee in the fourth quarter after being sacked.

“It doesn’t look that bad, but we’ll wait till he gets examined,” Rivera said of Heinicke.

Heinicke was 11-of-25 passing for 122 yards, one touchdown and one interception before being replaced by Kyle Allen.

Washington (6-7) visits the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) in an NFC East matchup next Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) passes the ball against the Washington Football Team during the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys hold off rally of Washington Football Team

Micah Parsons and Randy Gregory swarmed Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke, leading the dominant defense of Dallas as the Cowboys survived a late scare on the way to a 27-20 victory Sunday afternoon in Landover, Md.

Dak Prescott completed 22 of 39 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown and Greg Zuerlein added four field goals as the Cowboys (9-4) halted the four-game winning streak of the Washington Football Team (6-7) and increased their lead in the NFC East to three games with four left.

Dallas (9-4) led 27-8 late in the fourth quarter before Washington scored two touchdowns in a span of 56 seconds. Cole Holcomb’s 31-yard interception return touchdown made it 27-20 with 4:13 left.

Washington got the ball back but with 2:34 left but Gregory sacked reserve quarterback Kyle Allen, forcing a fumble that teammate Jayron Kearse recovered.

Dallas defense limited Washington to 224 yards and 14 first downs, registering five sacks. The Cowboys limited Washington starter Heinicke to 11 completions in 25 attempts for 122 yards and a touchdown. Heinicke’s two turnovers (one interception, one fumble) in the first quarter put Washington into a big hole.

In his first game back from the injured list after suffering a calf strain a month ago, Gregory tipped and intercepted a Heinicke screen pass to set up a touchdown. Five plays later, Prescott threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott scored on a two-point conversion run for an 11-0 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Parsons, who enhanced his candidacy for defensive Rookie of the Year, forced Heinicke to fumble as he made one of his two drive-halting sacks. Teammate Dorance Armstrong scooped up the ball and carried it 37 yards for a touchdown that put the Cowboys up 18-0 with 29 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Washington was trailing 24-0 before it got on the scoreboard in the third quarter. Cam Sims made a spectacular jump-ball catch of a Heinicke pass in the end zone on a 43-yard touchdown play.

Washington stopped Dallas on its ensuing possession, but the Cowboys got the ball back moments later as Jourdan Lewis forced and recovered a fumble by Antonio Gibson, setting up one of Zuerlein’s four field goals, all from inside 40 yards.

In the fourth quarter, Neville Gallimore sacked Heinicke and knocked him from the game with a knee injury. Allen took over for Washington, directing a late touchdown drive as Jonathan Williams, picked up last week from the practice squad of the Giants, scored on a 1-yard plunge on fourth down.

Moments later, Holcomb made his pick-six to tighten up the game.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) celebrates at the end of the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

First-place Cowboys visit Washington, winners of 4 straight

Here comes the Washington Football Team.

Those words have rarely struck fear into NFL teams. But there is some precedent to heed them, at least in December.

Since 2000, Washington has made five playoff appearances. In each of those seasons, the team entered December with a losing record before going a combined 21-4 the rest of the way.

Is Washington (6-6) destined to repeat the script this year? If so, it will have to survive NFC East-leading Dallas (8-4). The teams meet two of the next three Sundays, starting this weekend in Landover, Md.

A month ago at 2-6 and facing a game against the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, the team appeared on the road to nowhere. But Washington clipped Tampa Bay to trigger a four-game winning streak and rekindle its playoff hopes.

“At this point now we control our own destiny,” coach Ron Rivera said. “You gotta go out and do it yourself. I’ve been in this situation a few times so I kind of know what it feels like. I know what it’s going to take from our players.”

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke has keyed the surge with a passer rating of 110 over the last four games. The previous four games, all losses, his figure was 68.

The defense also has risen, yielding an average of 286.7 yards during the winning streak, compared with 361.3 during the four-game skid. The success has come despite the absence of defensive ends Montez Sweat (broken jaw) and Chase Young (torn ACL).

“You’re seeing that middle push have some success,” Rivera said. “You’re seeing those guys on the edge getting a little more pressure. Why? Because they’re getting single (blocked) now. That’s been to our benefit.”

Sweat was due to return this week but the team placed him on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Tight end Logan Thomas, who made a sensational one-handed touchdown catch in Sunday’s 17-15 win at Las Vegas, is back on the reserve/injured list for the second time this year. Washington also picked up running back Jonathan Williams from the practice squad of the Giants.

There are other injury concerns as linebacker Jamin Davis entered concussion protocol. Guard Wes Schweitzer (ankle), safety Landon Collins (foot), and running back J.D. McKissick (concussion) all missed at least one practice this week, while several others were limited.

Earlier this week, the team said quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick would undergo season-ending hip surgery.

With a win on Sunday, Dallas can take a giant step toward clinching the division as it would open up a three-game lead on Washington and idle Philadelphia (6-7) with four games left.

The Cowboys are looking forward to potentially getting their three pass-rushing standouts on the field together. DeMarcus Lawrence returned from the IR last week after missing 10 games. Randy Gregory was back at practice this week off his IR stint and could be activated Sunday. They combine with rookie linebacker Micah Parsons to form an intimidating trio.

“Three-headed monster,” Parsons said. “It’s going to be exciting to play all together but I think that’s the great part about having a good practice week. You’ve got an opportunity to learn how to all play with each other.”

Dallas has a new injury concern as running back Tony Pollard (foot) did not practice on Wednesday. Starting back Ezekiel Elliott (knee) was a full participant.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team defensive end Montez Sweat (90) chases the ball carrier against the Kansas City Chiefs at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WFT puts Montez Sweat on COVID list, Logan Thomas on IR

The Washington Football Team placed defensive end Montez Sweat on the reserve/COVID-19 list and tight end Logan Thomas on season-ending injured reserve on Wednesday.

Sweat was expected to return to practice on Wednesday after missing the last four games with a fractured jaw.

He is expected to be sidelined the next 10 days because he is unvaccinated, per multiple reports. That timeline would keep him out of Washington’s home game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and likely a road contest versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 19. He could conceivably play against the Eagles, but would be unable to practice during the week.

Sweat, 25, has recorded 19 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles in eight games this season.

In 40 games (all starts) with Washington, Sweat has 20 sacks, 114 tackles (23 for loss) and 45 quarterback hits.

Thomas sustained a knee injury following a hit from Las Vegas Raiders pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue on Sunday. The move to injured reserve is the second in 2021 for Thomas, thus ending his season.

Thomas returned from a six-game absence on Thanksgiving weekend. He caught a touchdown pass on the opening drive in Las Vegas on Sunday and finished with three catches for 48 yards in Washington’s 17-15 victory.

Thomas, 30, was hurt five minutes into the fourth quarter when Ngakoue lunged at him from Thomas’ left side and hit him at the knees.

Ricky Seals-Jones played in the No. 1 tight end role when Thomas exited on Sunday.

Thomas signed a three-year, $24.1 million contract in August.

Running back Jonathan Williams was signed off the practice squad Wednesday to fill Thomas’ spot on the roster.

–Field Level Media

Aug 20, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) stands on the field prior to the Washington Football Team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to have hip surgery

Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will undergo hip surgery and miss the rest of the season, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

The 39-year-old veteran played only 16 snaps in his first season with Washington (his ninth NFL team), completing 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards before being injured in the season opener.

Fitzpatrick sustained a hip subluxation in the second quarter of the 20-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and was considered a longshot to return in 2021.

He signed a one-year, $10 million deal with Washington in March.

He has 34,990 passing yards and 223 touchdown passes with 169 interceptions in 166 career games.

A seventh-round draft pick out of Harvard in 2005, Fitzpatrick has played for the then-St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Washington.

Taylor Heinicke took over for Fitzpatrick and has guided Washington (6-6) to four consecutive wins heading into Sunday’s home game against the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (8-4).

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch during the first quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

WFT’s Ron Rivera: Hit on TE Logan Thomas avoidable

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas went down Sunday with a knee injury, and the hit from Las Vegas Raiders pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue that did the damage was definitely avoidable, Washington coach Ron Rivera said.

“You know, I thought the play was avoidable. It’s unfortunate that the hit occurred and it was low. … For the most part, I just felt that it was something that was avoidable,” Rivera said Monday.

Rivera said tests revealed Thomas did not tear his ACL as was widely reported on Sunday night. Rivera didn’t deny Thomas has MCL damage, but the full extent of the injury is not yet known.

Thomas returned from a six-game absence on Thanksgiving weekend and caught a touchdown pass on the opening drive in Las Vegas on Sunday. He finished with three catches for 48 yards.

Washington won 17-15.

Thomas, 30, was hurt five minutes into the fourth quarter when Ngakoue lunged at him from Thomas’ left side and hit him at the knees.

Ricky Seals-Jones played in the No. 1 tight end role when Thomas exited on Sunday.

Thomas signed a three-year, $24.1 million contract in August.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) drops the ball as he is tackled by Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders TE Darren Waller deemed doubtful vs. Washington

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s home game against the Washington Football Team.

Waller sustained knee and back injuries during Las Vegas’ 36-33 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. He didn’t practice at all this week.

Waller has caught 53 passes for 643 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games this season. Last year, he was a Pro Bowler when he established career bests of 107 receptions, 1,196 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Running back Josh Jacobs is listed as questionable after injuring an ankle during practice on Thursday. He was limited the past two days.

Also listed as questionable is recent addition DeSean Jackson. The receiver is dealing with a calf injury and was limited Friday after missing Thursday’s practice altogether.

The Raiders ruled out defensive end Carl Nassib (knee) and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor (hamstring). Also listed as questionable are linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (ankle) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (ankle).

Washington ruled out four players: safety Landon Collins (foot), running back J.D. McKissic (concussion), guard Wes Schweitzer (ankle) and defensive back Benjamin St-Juste (concussion). St-Juste was placed on injured reserve on Thursday.

Wideout Curtis Samuel (groin) is questionable, as are center Tyler Larsen (knee), tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (hip) and offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (foot).

–Field Level Media