Head Coach Nick Sirianni, in COVID-19 protocol since Wednesday, met with reporters late on Friday afternoon from his hotel room and said he feels "great" and was hoping to get good news from his most recent COVID test. He has spent the time since Wednesday working virtually while the team was at the NovaCare Complex and said it has not been a problem at all getting his work done and, in fact, remains hopeful of being on the sidelines Sunday when the Eagles host the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field.
"I'm planning on being there. I'm hoping I'm going to be there," he said. "I know that's optimistic thinking but I haven't thought the other way yet," Sirianni said.
"As far as things virtually, it went really well. No problems here. I was doing everything I do from my hotel room. Now, I probably need to go out and get a walk a little bit because I've been in this hotel room for three days, but I've been watching a lot of tape and feel real good about where we're at right now."
Sirianni said he will be ready at a moment's notice should he be given the green light to coach, so everything is fluid at this moment. The good news is that the Eagles haven't skipped a beat in their preparation for the Giants – even with the short week following Tuesday's game against Washington.
Should Sirianni not be able to participate in person on Sunday, he plans to watch the game on television alone – either at his hotel room or at his home away from his wife and children. Passing Game Coordinator Kevin Patullo, as earlier indicated, would take over some of Sirianni's game-management decisions like challenging officials' calls and deciding whether to go for it or punt on fourth down. The two have great familiarity dating back three seasons in Indianapolis and they frequently meet during the season – every Thursday and Saturday, to be exact – and discuss scenarios.
In other words, Sirianni and Patullo are in lockstep. "We're very similar in every single way," Sirianni said.
Said Patullo: "I really don't feel like it will be very much different at all. We've had so many meetings to this point. We're both very well prepared for whatever situation it is. We watch a lot of tape and we try to watch situations of the opponent that we're about to play, and then around the league, we try to pull every situation we can find and just discuss it. 'Hey, what are you going to do here? What do you think there? How are we going to use timeouts? How are we going to do this if it's fourth down? Clock management in two-minute (offense)? Four-minute (offense)?' I feel really good about it. We've done it for a while, him and I. It's something we did in Indy. We've done it for years and we've continued to do it here, so this week has been no different as far as that."
The ability to adjust and adapt, a strength for this football team all season, is also a plus in this situation. The Eagles have spent many hours and many days preparing for all possible scenarios and they will be ready for the Giants even on this short week.
"We're ready for whatever comes," Patullo said. "We'll be ready on Sunday for whatever situation it is."
The health situation is also a positive story for the Eagles, even with this short week. Sirianni said that both left tackle Jordan Mailata (ankle) and running back Miles Sanders (quad), who did not practice since the Washington game, are going to be fine for Sunday.
The team will practice on Saturday and, at the same time, give players and coaches time to be with their families in the morning for Christmas. Then it's off to the team hotel for the night with a huge game on Sunday at 1 PM. And whether Sirianni is on the sidelines or not, the Eagles expect all systems to operate as they normally would for the game.