Who is Garrett Gilbert? Washington Football Team to start former Cowboys backup vs. Eagles

Welcome back, Garrett Gilbert.

With both Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen out for Tuesday night’s Washington-Philadelphia matchup, former AAF standout and Cowboys backup Gilbert steps in.

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The game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday, was pushed back amid coronavirus issues, and both Heinicke and Allen have yet to be cleared through the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol for the game on Tuesday.

It’s not the first time that Gilbert is getting snaps in a pinch, either — and not the first time he’s getting the call in a tight spot for an NFC East team.

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Who is Garrett Gilbert?

Gilbert, 30, is a career journeyman backup quarterback. He last played in the NFL in 2020, when he stepped in for the Cowboys after Andy Dalton was placed on the COVID-19 list.

In his career, Gilbert has played in seven games, but has only started one: the 2020 matchup vs. the Steelers, when he completed 21 of 38 passes for 243 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the loss to Pittsburgh.

Before Gilbert made his way back to the NFL, he was a standout passer of the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), the now-defunct spring football league. In eight games with the Apollos, Gilbert threw for 2,152 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He was a leading MVP candidate before the league shut down.

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Gilbert’s AAF dominance earned him another shot in the NFL, landing with the Browns as a backup. The Cowboys would sign Gilbert off of Cleveland’s practice squad to start in place of Andy Dalton (and second-stringer Ben DiNucci) last year.

Gilbert was a sixth-round pick of the Ravens in 2014, but was released during roster cuts that season. He spent time with the Patriots, Lions, Panthers, Browns and Cowboys before reuniting with former Carolina coach Ron Rivera in Washington last week; he was signed off the Patriots’ practice squad on Dec. 17.

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