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Key WFT Defensive Linemen Sweat And Allen Are Re-Instated

By Mark Solway | December 19th, 2021

The Washington Football Team finally got their first bit of good news on Saturday. Four defensive linemen were all taken off the Covid list, and will be eligible for their Week 15 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington’s two leading sack producers, Jonathan Allen (7 1/2) and Montez Sweat (4.0) were both green-lighted to return. That puts Washington in a considerably better competitive position. Before the latest roster changes, Washington was without six of it’s top seven defensive linemen.

Sweat has been out with a broken jaw – not just Covid – and may have some game-conditioning issues. But even if only on a rotation, having Sweat definitely improves Washington’s pass rush abilities. And their chances to win.

Defensive ends James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill were also re-instated. Toohill will be exceptionally excited, as he was the Eagles’ 7th-round draft pick last year and will have something extra to play for.

Unfortunately for Washington, they still have nineteen players on the COVID list – including quarterbacks Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen.

Scheduling And Protocol Changes Help Washington

The NFL postponing the game until Tuesday has definitely helped Washington. The Football Team were one of three teams that the league thought were hit hard enough by Covid, that it warranted a schedule change. So the game was changed from 1 pm Sunday to 7 pm Tuesday.

The Eagles community hasn’t stopped whining since.

“Special treatment.”

It doesn’t seem very special to (still) have nineteen players missing, but the Eagles bemoaning is duly noted. After all, the league could have just forfeited the game. Especially given that the outbreak in Washington may have started with an unvaccinated player (Sweat).

On Thursday this past week, the NFL also changed the protocols for teams reinstating players from the COVID list. A player can now return when, “the measurement of his viral load is below the threshold where he could become contagious.”

Previously to Thursday, players who had been vaccinated could only return when they had been asymptomatic and tested negative twice 24 hours apart.

The new protocol allows players to return sooner, opening the door for shorter layoffs like the ones for Washington’s four returning defensive linemen.

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