Eagles Fans, Players Rip NFL for ‘Unfair’ Scheduling Change

Ron Rivera

Getty Washington head coach Ron Rivera has watched 24 players on his team go into COVID-19 protocols this week.

There had been murmurs of the NFL rescheduling the Week 15 matchup between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles. Now those soft whispers have become a hard reality after the league announced the divisional game will be played two days later than anticipated.

The NFC East showdown will be played on Tuesday, December 21 at 7 p.m. The contest had originally been scheduled for Sunday, December 19 at 1 p.m.

The spike in COVID-19 cases across the league has put everyone in panic mode, especially in Washington where 24 players have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has. Notable names include quarterback Taylor Heinicke, defensive end Montez Sweat, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, and cornerback Kendall Fuller.

The NFL is doing the best it can to protect their product and the integrity of the playoff race amid a global pandemic. Both Washington and Philadelphia are alive in the postseason hunt and it would be unfair to trot out a skeleton crew of a team on Sunday. However, the move viciously handicaps an Eagles team who – by all accounts – has followed the COVID-19 protocols to the letter of the law. Washington incurred the outbreak, not them. And now they will have to turn around and play their Week 16 game on four days rest.

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Eagles Players Not Happy

The reactions from Eagles players was fast and furious on social media – and none of them were enthusiastic. It’s not that anyone doesn’t have sympathy for what Washington is going through – for the record, 80% of cases there are asymptomatic – but it doesn’t seem right to punish Philadelphia for their sins.

Anyway, here is a sampling of the responses from the locker room:

The Eagles released an official team statement on the matter and didn’t give an opinion one way or the other. That’s called taking the high road.

Head coach Nick Sirianni was asked about a potential schedule change before it actually happened. He hadn’t been in touch with the league or heard anything about it.

“No, they tell us where to play and when to play and we’ll play there,” Sirianni said. “Haven’t heard anything; plan on playing at Sunday at 1.”

Philly Fans Also Not Happy

Washington-Philadelphia wasn’t the only game moved. A total of four games were switched to accommodate various levels of COVID-19 concerns. The Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns will play Monday (December 20) at 5 p.m. followed by the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears at 8:15 p.m. The Eagles’ game will kick off simultaneously with the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday (December 21) at 7 p.m.

Naturally, fans in Philly were taking the news pretty well. Not. Here is a spattering of their reactions:

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