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NFL Releases Statement On Decision With Andy Dalton

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton on Monday night. He is with the Chicago Bears in 2021.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19: Andy Dalton #14 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to throw against the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on October 19, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Andy Dalton will return as the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback this afternoon. The veteran signal caller missed the team's last game due to COVID-19.

This week, Dalton admitted he still hasn't regained his sense of taste or smell as he recovers from COVID. However, he's been declared healthy and cleared to play today.

On Sunday, the NFL released a statement explaining why Dalton is good to go even while he's still dealing with residual symptoms of the virus. Basically, even though he still hasn't regained those two senses, he's not in danger of infecting anyone.

"The NFL and NFLPA medical officers, along with the independent infectious disease consultants, do not consider the loss of taste and smell to be a symptom of acute illness after the first few days," the league said,

From the NFL on why Andy Dalton is permitted to play today:

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 22, 2020

" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">via NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. "It is very common that those can be present for weeks after a COVID-19 infection."

Thus far, Dalton has appeared in four games for the Cowboys, making two starts. He's completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 452 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

Amazingly, Dallas remains in contention in the NFC East despite a 2-7 record. They'll need to start winning soon though, preferably as early as this afternoon against the Minnesota Vikings.

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.