- Covered NFL since 1997, Cowboys since 2003
- Previously covered Bengals and Dolphins
- Lives in Dallas area with his wife and two children
FRISCO, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys’ COVID-19 outbreak has now reached head coach Mike McCarthy.
McCarthy was placed on COVID protocols Monday and will not coach Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. In a statement, the team said McCarthy “will continue to direct, and be in involved in, all meetings and game preparations on a virtual basis for the remainder of the week, including Thursday’s meetings in New Orleans.”
The team will conduct all of its meetings Monday virtually and proceed with its regularly scheduled practice.
The Cowboys will also be without offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko, strength and conditioning coordinator Harold Nash and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith. So far, right tackle Terence Steele is the only player not playing this week because of COVID.
A league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter there are “up to eight positives in Dallas. Details still rolling in.”
Running backs coach Skip Peete missed the Nov. 14 game against the Atlanta Falcons because of the virus.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper is expected to return to practice today after he missed the last two games on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
After minimal COVID issues last season, the Cowboys have been hit much harder by it this season. Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin missed the season opener on the COVID list. Linebacker Keanu Neal and Cooper, who were the only two unvaccinated players on the 53-man roster, missed two games apiece on the COVID list. Defensive end Randy Gregory, kicker Greg Zuerlein, guard Brandon Knight and defensive end Bradlee Anae also missed games on the list.
McCarthy would be the fourth head coach to miss a game while in COVID protocols since last season. Kevin Stefanski missed the Cleveland Browns’ playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals and Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears each missed a game this season.
The team has not said who would replace McCarthy Thursday. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn spent parts of six seasons as head coach of the Falcons. Special teams coordinator John Fassel was the interim head coach for the Los Angeles Rams in 2016.
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