The Dallas Cowboys will begin their 2021 season on Thursday night against the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but don’t expect right guard Zack Martin, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, to take the field against them. As of Saturday, Martin has tested positive for COVID-19, and it is very doubtful that he would be able to pass league procedures in time for the game. It is necessary for him to be symptom-free for 48 hours before testing negative for COVID-19 twice, each 24 hours apart. Head coach Mike McCarthy admitted that such a scenario is very improbable.

Dallas Cowboys Zack Martin Is Expected To Miss The Team’s Season Opener

An unexpected setback for a Cowboys squad that is up against one of the league’s most feared defensive lines. Martin has participated in group events that were only open to players who have received vaccinations. Players and a coach, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, have tested positive despite having received vaccinations. CeeDee Lamb, the star wide receiver, was absent from workouts last week before being activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Dallas Cowboys Zack Martin Is Expected To Miss The Team's Season Opener

After avoiding COVID-19 problems for the first month of training camp, the Cowboys have had nine players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Aug. 21, according to the NFL. McCarthy said that the majority of the symptoms were similar to those of a typical cold. Brandon Knight, a reserve offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys who is a high-risk close contact, has been placed in the same procedure as Martin. Last season, the Cowboys offensive line was devastated, with four of the team’s five starters losing substantial time due to injury. Before Martin tested positive, the club was anticipating a full-capacity offensive line to underpin its talented roster of players.

Instead, 2019 first-round selection Connor McGovern is anticipated to take over at right guard in Martin’s stead as the starter. McGovern, who was on injured reserve for the whole of his first season, made eight starts for the Cowboys this season. With 104 career starts and four All-Pro seasons under his belt, he’ll be stepping into the shoes of a veteran. McCarthy praised McGovern’s hard work and perseverance on the job.

Prescott, who is returning to live play in the game 11 months after suffering a horrific ankle injury that necessitated both surgical procedures, will face a stout Tampa defensive front that will provide him with less reliable protection. Running back, Ezekiel Elliott was relying on defined lanes, which are essential for both yardage production as well as draining clock time, in the hopes of keeping seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady off the field for the remainder of the game. Expect the lanes to be a little hazier.

It would be fantastic to emerge from that game without having touched the earth, but how feasible is that? Prescott expressed concern about being struck again on Friday. Obviously, this does not seem like a very plausible scenario. But I’m simply looking forward to that time, just to get it over with, especially after going 11 months without being struck by anything. I’m simply really looking forward to everything this game has in store for me.”