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Eagles HC Nick Sirianni enters COVID-19 protocol after testing positive for virus

Just a day after an impressive win over the Washington Football Team, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost their coach for the time being.

The Eagles announced Wednesday that head coach Nick Sirianni tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in the league's protocols. The club remains hopeful, however, that he could return to lead his players in Sunday’s NFC East home game against the New York Giants. Sirianni is symptomatic, per the team, and will conduct team meetings virtually until he is able to test out of protocols, which requires two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.

Sirianni said that passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo would be acting head coach in his absence, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

The Eagles (7-7) remain in the thick of the NFC wild-card hunt with three games to play, all of which will be divisional games. With six NFC playoff spots still available -- the Packers clinched the NFC North in Week 15 -- the Eagles are tied with the Vikings and Saints for the seventh-best record in the conference.

From a team standpoint, it's among the worst of situations for a coach to be unavailable, but Sirianni isn't alone. He's just the latest NFL head coach to test positive for the virus. Earlier Wednesday, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh tested positive, and might not be cleared for his team's Sunday game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton missed Week 15 games due to positive COVID-19 tests. Stefanski was cleared to return to the Browns on Wednesday.

Also missing games this season: Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury and Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy.

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