The Dallas Cowboys were hit with some tough news on Wednesday afternoon. Just minutes after head coach Mike McCarthy finished his press conference announcing there were no COVID updates for the day, news broke that Cowboys rookie linebacker Micah Parsons was added to the COVID-19 protocol list.
The slightly good news is that this is happening before the playoffs and that hopefully, Parsons will be back for the postseason.
The bad news is that for a rookie trying to continue his historic year, he may not be able to add to his stats for the last game of the regular season. This could heavily hurt his chances for Defensive Player of the Year.
Parsons is now the third linebacker from the Cowboys in just a few weeks to be added to the COVID list. Francis Bernard and Keanu Neal have already missed time due to testing positive. This means the only linebackers on the 53-man roster who will practice with the team on Wednesday are Leighton Vander Esch and Luke Gifford.
When can Cowboys rookie Micah Parsons return from the COVID list?
We do not currently know whether Parsons is vaccinated or not. But, the new NFL COVID-19 protocols have made it easier for fully vaccinated players to return. If the rookie is vaccinated, he can return if he is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours and produces the requisite amount of negative tests.
If he is not vaccinated, he can return to the team five days after testing positive if he is asymptomatic.
This puts a lot up in the air ahead of Week 18. Because his vaccination status is unknown, we cannot make any proper judgments as to his availability even with the updated policies. But, even if he can’t play on Saturday night, the likelihood of him being ready and available for the playoffs (given that will be in more than 10 days) is likely.
Our fingers are crossed that Parsons is feeling okay and that he makes a speedy recovery.