Reports from a few days ago had Guard Zack Martin out for Thursday night’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Today there’s been clarification that Martin could still play, albeit with a slim margin for error.
Martin tested positive for COVID-19 last Saturday, prompting the reports that he would miss the season opener this week. But as a fully vaccinated player, Zack could return in five days if he has no symptoms and has two negative tests.
No new names on or off the Cowboys’ COVID list, per Mike McCarthy.
Interestingly, McCarthy says if anyone would be capable of traveling Thursday and playing, it’d be Zack Martin.
Cowboys clearly leaving some wriggle room for their All-Pro guard, however small that may be.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said team feels “really good” with how RG Zack Martin (COVID-19) feels. Playing Thursday is “still not out of the question. We haven’t rolled him out totally.” Team would fly him to Tampa on Thursday if Martin can test negative twice while asymptomatic.
The Cowboys have made contingency plans to fly all of their COVID-19 guys to Tampa Bay on game day if they pass the protocols to clear them to play. Zack Martin, Brandon Knight and Noah Brown. Martin is in the testing phase. Taking 1 today. Needs 2 negative results by Thursday
While most his teammates will head for Tampa Bay tomorrow in preparation for the game, Zack Martin and a couple others could make the trip on Thursday after getting negative tests and passing the protocol.
Even without a week of practice, Martin is still a better option to go up against the Bucs than Connor McGovern or any other configuration the Cowboys could come up with. Even as he battled through injuries in 2020, Zack remained our best offensive linemen and and even played right tackle as if he’d been doing it for years.
Again, there’s no room for any delays in testing or the recurrence of symptoms if Martin is going to play this week. But at least now there’s a glimmer of hope that the All-Pro guard, arguably the best player on the entire roster, will be at his post when Dallas opens its 2021 season.