Washington Football Team puts DE Montez Sweat on COVID-19 list, TE Logan Thomas on IR

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Football Team pass-rusher Montez Sweat, who missed the past four games with a fractured jaw and was expected to return to practice Wednesday, has tested positive for COVID-19, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Sweat, who is second on the team with four sacks this season, is expected to be out the next 10 days, which likely will sideline him two more games. Washington, which has won four in a row and currently owns the sixth playoff spot, has important games inside the NFC East the next two weeks, against the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.

Meanwhile, Logan Thomas' season is over after Washington placed the tight end on injured reserve Wednesday as doctors continue to figure out the extent of his knee injury.

Washington announced that it had placed Sweat on the reserve/COVID-19 list but by NFL rules can't disclose whether it was because he tested positive or is an unvaccinated close contact. Washington coach Ron Rivera declined to say how long Sweat would be required to stay on the list.

However, Rivera said he was hoping it would be a short stay on this list for Sweat, but that would mean he initially had a false positive test.

During the spring, Sweat said he was not a fan of the vaccine.

"I probably won't get vaccinated until I get more facts and that stuff. I'm not a fan of it at all," he said in June. "I haven't caught COVID yet, so I don't see me treating COVID until I actually get COVID."

At the time, and even early in training camp, Rivera said he was frustrated by players who did not want to get the vaccine.

But on Wednesday, when asked if that made this situation more frustrating, Rivera said, "This time of year with the potential for breakthroughs is just frustrating, period. It really is. It's the unfortunate part. We're going to be fine; I like our guys."

Sweat is the seventh current player on the 53-man roster to have been placed on the COVID list and the second one to be placed there during the season.

Without Sweat, Washington will continue to start ends James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill.

This will be Thomas' second time on injured reserve this season, and by rule, he can't be designated to return again. Thomas already missed six games this season because of a hamstring injury, which landed him on IR the first time.

Rivera on Monday said an MRI revealed that Thomas did not tear an ACL, as was originally feared, but that there was damage to the knee. Rivera said Thomas will see another doctor to determine the full extent of the injury.

He said they considered keeping Thomas on the active roster, in case he'd be ready for a possible playoff game. But Rivera said they wanted to take a long-term view.

"The thing you have to be careful with is bringing a guy like him back too soon," he said. "This is about the players' welfare going forward."

Thomas was hurt with 10 minutes left in Sunday's 17-15 win over the Las Vegas Raiders when defensive end Yannick Ngakoue went low as Thomas pulled from the opposite side to block him. Rivera said he wishes Ngakoue had used his hands to fight off Thomas rather than go low.

Thomas was a key target for Washington, especially in the red zone, and had developed into a physical blocker. He caught a career-high 72 passes and six touchdowns last season, earning a three-year contract extension worth up to $24.05 million. In parts of six games this season, Thomas caught 18 passes, including three for scores. He leads all NFL tight ends since the start of last season with 151 yards receiving in the red zone. At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, the former quarterback makes for a big target.

Washington should be helped this week with the expected return of tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, who missed the past three games with a hip injury. It also has rookie John Bates, who has earned praise for his blocking in particular.

"It's huge," Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke said of Thomas' loss. "Obviously, Logan is a really good player for us. It's tough to lose him, but at the same time you look at the games he wasn't in and Ricky and Bates did a great job filing in. It's unfortunate Logan can't be there, but we have a lot of confidence in the other two."