Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy tests positive for COVID-19, will miss game vs. Saints

Amid a rash of COVID-19 cases on his team, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was placed in the NFL’s protocol on Monday and will not travel to New Orleans for Thursday night’s game at the Saints.

McCarthy has said he is vaccinated; vaccinated staffers only land in protocol upon testing positive.

“Although he will not be on the field for the Saints game, 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 Cowboys said in a statement.

Sunday, McCarthy announced that the Cowboys added three assistant coaches and right tackle Terence Steele to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday. Daily testing was implement and meetings shifted to virtual, other than a roughly hourlong walkthrough practice. On Monday, the NFL made all players and Tier 1 and 2 staffers – regardless of vaccination status – undergo testing in enhanced post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 protocols.

“We’re in a cycle right now,” McCarthy said on a Sunday morning conference call with local reporters. “We’re paying close attention to it.”

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy walks on the field before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at AT&T Stadium.

McCarthy was scheduled to hold another call with reporters Monday morning. It was later canceled.

Assistant head coach Rob Davis will assume head-coaching responsibilities in person, two people with knowledge of the Cowboys’ plan confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose the information. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, special teams coordinator John Fassel and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will also take on additional responsibilities, the person said, in addition to the virtual role McCarthy will…

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