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Football

Mike McCarthy Has Tested Positive for COVID-19

The Cowboys' head coach won't coach in Thursday's game against New Orleans.
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McCarthy is one of many Cowboys coaches who have tested positive over the last week. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Mike McCarthy Has Tested Positive for COVID-19

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Mike McCarthy will not coach in Thursday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints after testing positive for COVID-19 — and he might not be the only man down. After breaking the news earlier this morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter, citing an unnamed league source, tweeted that Dallas might have “up to eight” positive cases. At least three of them are assistant coaches. A fourth is swing tackle Terence Steele. All of them were added to the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday, joining offensive line coach Joe Philbin, who missed the Thanksgiving game due to a positive test.

What does all this mean for the Cowboys? Per The Athletic’s Jon Machota, McCarthy, who has said he is vaccinated, will remain involved in game planning and meetings—which will be held virtually—throughout the week. After that, it’s yet to be announced who will serve as interim coach. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn just completed six years as the Atlanta Falcons’ head coach, while special teams coach John Fassel was an interim coach with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Either feels more feasible than the most intriguing option: Kellen Moore, in what would be his first crack at a role that feels inevitable.

No matter who fills in on Thursday, it’s terrible timing for a team desperate to end a skid of three losses in four games. The Cowboys have already lost ground in the race for the NFC’s top seed due to injuries and poor play. For at least one game, they’ll now have to withstand a ravaged coaching staff, too.

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