If the Cowboys are going to win on Thursday, they’ll have to do it without their head coach.
Mike McCarthy will be absent from Dallas’ sidelines for their “Thursday Night Football” matchup vs. the Saints as he was recently placed on the NFL’s COVID-19 list.
McCarthy is the latest coach in the NFL to miss a game due to a positive COVID-19 test, joining two other head coaches who have missed time. Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper, along with others within the Dallas organization, have been dealing with coronavirus concerns as well.
Here’s the latest on McCarthy’s bout with the virus:
Why isn’t Mike McCarthy coaching Cowboys?
On Monday, Nov. 29, reports revealed that the Cowboys head coach had tested positive for COVID-19. McCarthy said that he is mildly symptomatic, as he has a scratchy throat following the positive diagnosis.
Had McCarthy been asymptomatic, he could have potentially coached on Thursday night. Given his symptoms, however, he is out.
HC Mike McCarthy enters COVID protocol & will miss Thursday’s game against the Saints.#DallasCowboys
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 29, 2021
The Cowboys released a statement following the news, indicating that McCarthy would still be involved in team meetings leading up to the “Thursday Night Football” matchup:
Statement from the #Cowboys on coach Mike McCarthy, who won’t be on the field for Thursday’s game in New Orleans because of COVID protocols.
Assistant head coach Rob Davis is in line for a bigger role on game day, but sounds like it’ll be a group effort. pic.twitter.com/7OgxUHBb4w
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 29, 2021
The Cowboys are dealing with something of a COVID-19 outbreak: Along with McCarthy, 12 other Dallas players and coaches have tested positive for the coronavirus at some point or another in 2021.
McCarthy is the third head coach to miss time this season following a positive test, joining Bears head coach Matt Nagy and Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
In July, McCarthy revealed that he had made the decision to get vaccinated, and was reportedly originally scheduled to get his vaccine booster shot the upcoming Friday.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy planned to receive his COVID-19 booster shot before testing positive Monday morning. “I was actually scheduled to get it Friday, ironically.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 30, 2021
In his stead, the Cowboys turn to current defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as its temporary head coach on Thursday night. Quinn, obviously, has ample experience in that position: He was head coach of the Falcons between 2015 and 2020.