Dallas placed Martin on the Reserve/COVID-19 list today. As a result, he won’t be suited up when the team takes on the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
Martin has made six Pro Bowls and received six All-Pro designations (including four first-team) since entering the league in 2014. Last year was the first season he didn’t earn either, as he played in only 10 games due to injuries.
The Cowboys already have another offensive lineman, Connor Williams, on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, but he is reportedly getting close to returning. Right tackle La’El Collins has also been dealing with a neck issue, but is expected to practice today.
Zack Martin has been placed on the COVID list and will not play Thursday against Tampa Bay based on protocols.
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 5, 2021
Losing Martin is a massive blow for Dallas at any point in the season, but it especially hurts against a Tampa Bay team whose defensive line includes Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea.
It is also a bit discouraging to see COVID-19 impact the NFL regular season right off the bat like this, but it is something the league is going to have to deal with over the next few months. Even with a large portion of players vaccinated, breakthrough infections could still lead to absences.