Eagles: Washington could be down several key players Sunday

The pivotal NFC East matchup between the Eagles and Washington is still over five days away, so the initial injury concerns could damper down as the week progresses. But as of right now, Washington’s injury report is looking quite hefty.

On Sunday against Dallas, Washington’s starting quarterback and leading receiver both went down with injuries and did not return.

Taylor Heinicke suffered a knee injury when getting sacked early in the fourth quarter. Head coach Ron Rivera said it didn’t look that bad during the post game presser, but that the quarterback will undergo further evaluation. Terry McLaurin — a known Eagles killer — suffered a concussion on an incomplete pass in the third quarter and he’ll be placed in protocol.

It goes without saying that these are two huge losses for Washington.

Heinicke has quietly had a very solid season in 2021. On the year, the Washington signal caller has completed 66.5% of his passes for 2,931 yards with 19 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. Heading into the Dallas game, Washington was riding a four-game winning streak that started in Week 10 against Tampa Bay. During that stretch, Heinicke was completing 77% of his throws while posting a passer rating of 110.9. But he did struggle against Dallas, going 11-for-25 with one touchdown to one interception before getting hurt.

Despite Washington putting a heavy emphasis on running the football in recent weeks, McLaurin is still having a very productive year on the receiving end. He’s hauled in 61 receptions on 107 targets for 808 yards and five touchdowns. He’s without question Washington’s most explosive weapon, and he’s routinely torched the Eagles secondary throughout his three-year career. In four career games against Philly, McLaurin has recorded 22 catches for 365 yards (16.6 YPR) and three touchdowns.

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The offensive side of the ball wasn’t the only group affected for Washington following Sunday’s loss. The team announced Monday that star defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and linebacker David Mayo were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Allen has been one of the best interior defensive lineman in the league this season. He’s currently the third-highest graded interior defender on Pro Football Focus, posting a 90.5 defensive grade. He trails only Aaron Donald and Cameron Heyward in overall grade for interior lineman this season.

Allen leads Washington in sacks (7.5) and quarterback hits (25). Without him in the lineup, Washington’s biggest defensive strength (their defensive line) takes a major hit.

We’ll likely learn more on these injuries on Wednesday. But as of right now, the Eagles have the clear advantage in the injury department. When’s the last time we could say that?

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