Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is out for Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Saints after he tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Monday.
McCarthy’s positive result is reportedly part of an outbreak among the Cowboys. ESPN reported that the Cowboys have “up to eight positives” at the moment. Four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper has missed the last two games because of the virus and two assistant coaches — including offensive coach Joe Philbin — missed Thursday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders after testing positive.
McCarthy was vaccinated as the NFL requires coaches and executives to get the shot in order to be around players.
The Cowboys (7-4) have been reeling in recent weeks — having lost three of their last four. They still hold a 2 1/2-game lead in the NFC East, but after the Saints game, the Cowboys have three straight divisional games.
Because McCarthy was vaccinated, he can return to the team as soon as he’s able to pass two COVID-19 tests within 24 hours, is symptom-free and receives medical clearance. Unvaccinated individuals must miss a minimum of 10 days.
Cooper faced backlash last week for being unvaccinated.
“I’m absolutely hot about it,” Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin told TMZ Sports. “Are you joking? …. I got a guy [in Cooper] who makes $21 million [per year] on the bench, at home, not playing. It’s crazy. Our job as athletes is to try to remove any reason of not winning the Super Bowl. … You have to try to mitigate any issue that can cost you a game or a Super Bowl. And COVID is one of them.
“You go get vaccinated to try to mitigate it, best you can. Now, you can still get it even after you get vaccinated, but it’s a different percentage, or chance, of you getting it,” said Irvin, a former Cowboy