Add Nick Sirianni’s name to the Philadelphia Eagles’ COVID list

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

In the grand scheme of things, the Philadelphia Eagles got out of Week 15 relatively unscathed on the COVID front.

Sure, they added both Quez Watkins and Jason Huntley to the list early in the week – even if they both were cleared in time for Sunday – and both Landon Dickerson and Andre Dillard were ultimately unable to go in time for the rare Tuesday night soiree, but compared to their opponents, who entered the game with well over a dozen players in protocol, their losses were manageable, as the game’s record shows.

But now, one day removed from the team’s first division win of the season, the COVID list has claimed another name, and a big one at that.

Assuming he doesn’t clear protocol before Sunday’s game versus the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles might have to turn to running backs coach/associate head coach Jemal Singleton to call the game, as Nick Sirianni is officially on the COVID list.

The Philadelphia Eagles were just starting to click under Nick Sirianni.

Six weeks into the 2021 NFL season, many a fan, pundit, and expert openly questioned whether or not Nick Sirianni would be a one-and-done head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Outside of a fun win over a relatively bad Atlanta Falcons squad in Week 1, the Eagles’ offense looked confusing, unorganized, and seemingly incapable of going a drive without committing a penalty. The run-pass ratio was beyond lopsided in favor of the throw, and despite having a clear upgrade at WR1 in DeVonta Smith, the Eagles’ passing game just didn’t look professional in concept, play calling, or execution.

Fast forward to Week 15, and I think it’s safe to say Sirianni will not only be back in 2022 but could even get some love in the late-season award conversation, even if he probably won’t win anything outside of some Rookie Coach of the Year consideration.

With three games left to play, the Eagles rank first overall in rushing yards per game, 24th in passing yards per game, and 11th in overall offense. Their Week 15 yards total, 519, tied the most yards ever put up by any of Doug Pederson‘s teams during his tenure in South Philly, and the team did it all with a quarterback playing on a tweaked ankle that limited his rushing abilities. Assuming Landon Dickerson could get healthy in time for Sunday and no other players land in protocol that would severely limit the team’s offensive playbook, Week 16 was shaping up to be a bellwether performance for the Eagles’ offense and arguably the defining contest in their race for the playoffs.

But now? Now Eagles fans the world over will have to hope Sirianni’s symptoms subside over the next few days, as his absence could upend the game-day mojo the team has been riding since they turned the season around in Week 8.

Next. Huh, I guess Miles Sanders fits the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense after all. dark

So Nick Sirianni, get well soon. While you weren’t the most popular person in the City of Brotherly Love around Halloween and more than a few people have tweets they probably regret now, your willingness to learn and adapt has not only saved the Philadelphia Eagles’ season but impressed onto fans the importance of patience, which is good, because we’ll collectively be waiting with bated breath to see if you clear COVID protocol in time for a post-Christmas showdown against the New York Giants at the Linc.