The Cowboys got bad news four days before the season opener in Tampa Bay. Pro Bow guard Zack Martin has tested positive for COVID and will miss the game.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott put the loss in context.
“Zack is our best offensive player,” Elliott said, via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. “I mean most of the races, they come back behind him. It’s disappointing but you can’t repeat it, you can’t let it be more than it is. I mean he will definitely miss him, I would really like him to be there, but we still have one game to play and we have to try to get the job done.
Connor McGovern should play if Martin can’t. McGovern started eight games last year, six in Martin’s place due to injury.
Despite being treated by the Cowboys as a done deal that Martin won’t play, he tested positive on Saturday. If vaccinated, he could in theory be cleared by Thursday.
“We’ll see if he plays or not,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said on Sunday. “He could get two negative tests and be there. “
For vaccinated players, that’s the rule – two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. The Cowboys may see this as improbable enough that they don’t even put possibilities on the radar screen.
More players who get it definitely stay on this radar screen. Catcher CeeDee Lamb had it, and he lost his sense of taste and smell. He suddenly picked it up while brushing his teeth.
“I literally stopped and looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘Whoa. OKAY.’ I could taste it again, ”Lamb said, via Archer. “It was mint. Imagine not tasting mint for a week and then figuring out like, wow, you really can’t taste anything. It’s true. Take this seriously, my brother. This is my message.
Frankly, if more people had taken it seriously from February 2020, we probably wouldn’t have to take it seriously now. The league and its teams must continue to take it seriously. While it is highly unlikely that matches will not be played because of this, it is certain that teams will run out of key players for key matches.
Starting with game number one out of 272, it’s already happening.