The Dallas Cowboys will be without their head coach in New Orleans on Thursday.
Mike McCarthy is out for Thursday Night Football against the Saints due to COVID-19 protocols, the team announced in a statement on Monday:
“Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has been entered into the NFL’s Covid protocols this morning. Although he will not be on the field for the Saints game, McCarthy will continue to direct, and be in involved in (sic), 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 today virtually and proceed with its regularly scheduled practice session at 12:15 p.m.”
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini reported that McCarthy tested positive for COVID-19.
McCarthy said during the Cowboys' opening news conference this summer that he made a “conscious decision” to get vaccinated. Still, with the Cowboys’ next game just three days away, McCarthy will not be on the sideline at Caesar’s Superdome.
This is not the first major COVID-19 absence for the Cowboys in recent weeks. Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who is unvaccinated, missed Dallas’ last two contests against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 21 and the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys lost both games, as Cooper drew criticism from team owner Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys kick off against the Saints at 8:20 p.m. ET on Thursday with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn reportedly becoming the “point person” during the game. After that, the team’s next game is on the road against the Washington Football Team on Dec. 12.