The Cowboys announced Monday that wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and safeties Malik Hooker and Israel Mukuamu have joined defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive lineman Carlos Watkins in the NFL’s COVID safety protocol.
Per head coach Mike McCarthy, the team’s coaching staff worked virtually on Sunday following Saturday’s preseason loss to the Houston Texans. On Monday, the players went into “virtual mode.”
“We all understand the protocols and I addressed it in the locker room after the game,” McCarthy said, per the official team website. “We have everybody going through the proper testing both yesterday and today, and we’ll do so again tomorrow.”
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Quinn, Watkins Forced to Leave Stadium Before Game
In an abrupt turn of events, the Cowboys revealed at the onset of Saturday’s exhibition contest that Quinn and Watkins weren’t feeling well and departed AT&T Stadium roughly 90 minutes prior to kickoff “out of an abundance of caution.” The club also noted in a statement that 93% of its players are vaccinated while 100% of its coaches are fully immunized against the coronavirus.
“Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn and Defensive Tackle Carlos Watkins will not participate in tonight’s game,” the statement read. “Both men left the stadium earlier today out of an abundance of caution under the guidelines of the NFL’s COVID-related protocols.
“Quinn and Watkins will be reevaluated by the Cowboys medical staff tomorrow.
“To date, the vaccination rate for the Dallas player roster is 93%, while 100% of the team’s football stadium is fully vaccinated.”
Dallas secondary coach/defensive pass game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. replaced Quinn as the play-caller stationed up in the booth. Watkins, starting in place of an injured Neville Gallimore (elbow), was spelled by Brent Urban.
“They’re still in protocol and there are a number of steps that are part of the protocol,” McCarthy said after the game. “So with that we’ll continue to move forward. We’re just being extremely cautious and we’ll do so moving forward.”
He added Monday: “[Quinn’s] feeling good. He’s been in all the meetings virtually.”
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Because the Cowboys did not disclose the projected return timelines for those afflicted, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News specified what each must do to be activated from the COVID list.
Individual must produce 2 negative tests separated by 24 hours to return once he no longer displays symptoms. If a person is not vaccinated he’s out at least 10 days. If vaccinated can return sooner.
McCarthy parroted the precautionary action taken place to ensure an “outbreak” doesn’t occur within the locker room.
“We’re just being cautious and want to make sure that we contain this outbreak and just be smart with that,” he said Monday, per The Athletic.