The Dallas Cowboys are encountering a coronavirus outbreak amidst Mike McCarthy’s assistant coaching ranks. Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash, assistant offensive line coach Joe Blasko, and coaching assistant Scott Tolzien have joined offensive line coach Joe Philbin and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith and Cedric Smith in the league’s COVID protocol.
McCarthy announced on Sunday, November 28 that this is coinciding with the offensive tackle Terence Steele’s placement on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The Cowboys returned on Sunday following their Thanksgiving Day loss to Las Vegas. The team conducted a light practice under intensified alleviating efforts. McCarthy detailed that they will work to prevent further spread of the virus.
McCarthy opened up about this situation during his press conference with the media.
“Yes, I’ll start with the COVID protocol, we’ve had some positive tests. So, we’re working through that. That’s where we are. After a morning of COVID-19 testing and breakfast-to-go pickups, Cowboys players will begin virtual meetings at noon, coach Mike McCarthy said. Meetings end at 3:15,” Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reported Sunday. “While masked, players arrive at Ford Center at The Star for a 4:15-5:30 p.m. practice. Similar format on Monday.”
It’s still unclear who will fill Nash’s shoes among the training staff. McCarthy provided more information on potential substitutes for Philbin and Blasko. He specifically mentioned tight ends coach Lunda Wells, offensive quality control coach Chase Haslett, and consultant Ben McAdoo.
Wells began his coaching career as an offensive line assistant at LSU. He served as the New York Giants’ assistant OL coach from 2013-17. “He has an offensive line background … dialed into the run game,” Cowboys right guard Zack Martin said Sunday, November 28, via beat reporter Brianna Dix. “Keeping the O-Line room in check.”
McCarthy announced that after a two-game absence on the COVID-19 list, Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is expected to practice Monday. The former Pro Bowler will be activated for Thursday’s NFC showdown.