UPDATE: At least one of the COVID players has returned.
Also good to note that Israel Mukuamu was back at practice today, which means at least one of the guys in the COVID protocol is back.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 25, 2021
The past week has seen the Dallas Cowboys affected by COVID with positive tests and the resulting protocols being used. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins missed the Houston Texans game due to last minute protocols, and now the list of players who are not available has grown to six, with Damontae Kazee and Connor Williams the latest additions, per this report.
Cowboys FS Damontae Kazee and LG Connor Williams being placed on Reserve/COVID-19 after testing positive, coach Mike McCarthy announced. They join WR CeeDee Lamb, DT Carlos Watkins, S Malik Hooker and S Israel Mukuamu. Six players. Four have tested positive.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 25, 2021
It seems that the safety group may be the hot spot where this all began. That is now a very thin position leading up to the last preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Add in Donovan Wilson missing practice on Wednesday due to a groin problem, and the team may be hard-pressed to have enough safeties on the field Sunday.
What is not known for certain is how many of the players also are fully vaccinated, although there are reports that the initial four all were. Given that Jerry Jones said recently that there were only four or five players left who had not received the vaccination, that makes sense. And that is crucial, because the rules are different for those who have the immunization versus those holding out. If a player is vaccinated, they can immediately return from the list once they test negative according to the procedures.
It is not good news at all to have six players on the COVID list, but the timing is favorable. None of the starters were expected to see any playing time against the Jaguars, although Williams may have been an exception as the team continues to try and get him up to speed as a backup center. Mukuamu is the one player that would see a lot of time on the field as he is a rookie vying for a backup job in the secondary, and Hooker might have been called on to get some reps as he is coming back from a season ending injury last year. But the game absolutely does not matter as far as the final score. The Cowboys will make do with the healthy bodies they have and focus on getting the roster to full health for the regular season.