Eagles’ Nick Sirianni still quarantining with COVID; hoping to be cleared by Sunday

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  • Nick Sirianni
    Nick Sirianni
    American football coach

Sirianni optimistic he’ll be back for Sunday; Eagles ready if he’s not originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Nick Sirianni was in good spirits on Friday afternoon as he held his final press conference of the week, albeit virtually from the hotel room that has become his temporary home since testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.

He looked better too.

Something he found out after about the third time a reporter mentioned it to him.

“Y’all are saying it like I was down and out the other day. Goodness,” Sirianni said. “Did I look like it? Shoot!”

Sirianni, 40, entered the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday, the day after coaching the Eagles to a 27-17 win over the Washington Football Team in a game that was postponed a couple days because of an outbreak in Washington.

RELATED: Landon Dickerson activated off of COVID list

Throughout the week, Sirianni has coached the Eagles virtually from his hotel room. The Eagles have a plan in place if Sirianni can’t coach the team on Sunday, but he’s still hoping he’ll be cleared in time.

“I feel great,” he said. “Just waiting for my test to come back and get good news, hopefully.”

The Eagles have had a few cases of COVID go through their team this week, but Sirianni said the rest of the coaching staff is healthy and ready to coach on Sunday.

The only question is whether or not Sirianni will be with them. And he doesn’t have any sort of timetable in mind.

“Whenever they tell me I can, I’m ready to go,” he said. “If they tell me a minute before the game, I’ll be there. If it’s two days before the game, I’ll be there. When they tell me I can go, I’m ready to go. Prepared the same way obviously as if I was in the building all week. The sooner the better.”

READ: A couple key injured Eagles expected to play on Sunday

Sirianni said he isn’t sure what the NFL allows in terms of communication with his staff on game days if he isn’t able to be in the stadium, but he said it’s something the Eagles are working to find out.

The Eagles’ contingency plan on Sunday will be to have passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo take over game management responsibilities and to have offensive coordinator Shane Steichen take over play calling.

These contingency plans are necessary and we’re getting pretty close to them being utilized on Sunday. But Sirianni is holding out hope.

“I’m planning on being there. I’m hoping I’m there,” he said. “I know that’s optimistic thinking and so I haven’t thought the other way yet. If I’m home, if I’m actually back at the house, then I can imagine … I love my kids and I love my wife, but I’m not going to want them around when I’m watching the game. If it’s here in the hotel, no one’s around here anyway. So I’ll just handle that as it comes.”

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If Sirianni isn’t there on Sunday, the Eagles don’t anticipate many changes to their operation. Earlier in the week, Sirianni alluded to a collaborative play calling process between him and Steichen anyway. And Sirianni and Patullo have been colleagues for so long, they say they see things very similarly.

“I feel like I am very similar to Nick in a lot of ways,” Patullo said. “We’ve had so many discussions over the years about philosophy and game management that I really don’t feel like it’ll be very much different at all.”

So if things don’t turn out the way Sirianni hopes, he won’t be at the Linc on Sunday, but he’ll still have his 45-minute meeting with Steichen and Patullo before the game before wishing them well.

Not much else he can do.