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NFL: Backup QB Garrett Gilbert gets nod for Washington

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Washington Football Team backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert will start Tuesday night in Philadelphia with the starter and primary backup unavailable to face the Eagles.

The Washington Football Team confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen were tested twice on Tuesday — once in the morning and again in the early afternoon — but neither tested out of protocols. Head coach Ron Rivera said the plan had been to rush one or both to Philadelphia before the 7 p.m. ET kickoff if the test results cleared them.

Washington promoted Kyle Shurmur from the practice squad to back up Gilbert. Shurmur has yet to take a snap in the NFL.

Washington (6-7) and Philadelphia (6-7) had until 4 p.m. ET to activate players from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Gilbert, 30, has not appeared in a game this season. He made his NFL debut with Rivera’s Carolina Panthers in 2018 and made his only previous start last season for the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 9 loss to Pittsburgh, 24-19.

“Garrett played for us in Carolina,” Rivera said Tuesday. “He actually played in a couple of games. He has a lot of familiarity with what we do, so he came back and picked everything back up right away. Last year, if you watched the Cowboys-Pittsburgh game, he came in and played a heck of a game in a loss. They almost won. He’s a very steady quarterback. He has good arm strength, can make all the throws. So we’ve got good familiarity with him.”

The team’s starter in 12 games this season, Heinicke, 28, has passed for 2,931 yards with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 games this season.

Allen, 25, completed 4 of 9 passes for 53 yards in the Week 14 loss to the Cowboys.

Also Tuesday, Washington put running back J.D. McKissic on injured reserve with a concussion that has kept him sidelined since Week 12.

In addition to Shurmur, Washington promoted linebacker De’Jon Harris, fullback Alex Armah and tackle David Steinmetz to the active roster. The team also activated defensive lineman Tim Settle and defensive back Troy Apke off COVID reserve.

–Field Level Media

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