The Dallas Cowboys had a squeaky-clean injury report for their heavyweight bout against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. Naturally, NFL script writers swooped in and dropped a terrifying subplot hours before kickoff when Micah Parsons popped up on the injury report with an illness.
A virus has traveled through the Cowboys locker room for the better part of two weeks. Some coaches and players have caught the bug, including Dak Prescott, who mentioned he had the virus last week.
You wouldn't have known that given how Prescott performed vs Seattle, but it stands to reason he didn't develop symptoms on game day.
It's a different story with Parsons, who's believed to be battling the flu. This is a horrifying development for obvious reasons, but the Cowboys got needed clarity on Parsons' status with plenty of time to spare before game time.
Not only is Parsons expected to play, but ESPN's Ed Werder reported the illness shouldn't impact Parsons' playing time.
Cowboys' Micah Parsons to play vs Eagles despite illness
This is just what Cowboys fans needed to hear. Parsons might be under the weather, but did you really expect an illness to prevent the all-world defender from playing tonight? In the Cowboys' biggest regular season game in recent memory? Of course not.
The fact Parsons seemingly will handle a full workload, though, is impressive and further proves that he's built different. The lead in the NFC East is on the line, as are Dallas' chances of swiping the No. 1 seed from the Eagles and 49ers.
With a loss, the Cowboys will almost surely claim the No. 5 seed and be on the road in the first round of the playoffs barring a late-season collapse from Philadelphia and San Francisco.
So much is at stake, and now Parsons has the chance to author his version of Michael Jordan's famous "Flu Game," which occurred when Jordan dropped 37 points in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals despite battling food poisoning.
Even if Parsons isn't 100% healthy, his mere presence will make a world of difference. He could still command double teams and open up lanes for his teammates to pressure Jalen Hurts and disrupt running plays.
The current favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year, Parsons has 11.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and 26 QB hits this season. He's first in the NFL with 78 pressures, second with 51 hurries and first with a 37% pass rush win rate despite being double teamed at a higher rate than any defender in the league.
Anyone else feel like Parsons' fingerprints are going to be all over this game? It seems written in the stars.