The NFL's problems with dealing with COVID have now extended to the very top of the TV booth.
Former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, the lead analyst at CBS, will not be in the NFL booth on Sunday.
CBS announced that Romo will miss the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams because of COVID-19 protocols. The network did not detail whether Romo himself has tested positive for the coronavirus or was exposed to someone who has.
CBS studio analyst Boomer Esiason will be in the booth alongside play-by-play man Jim Nantz for the Cardinals-Rams game.
The network has not announced a timetable for the return to the broadcast booth for Romo, the longtime Dallas star QB who became a high-profile star in his second profession almost immediately upon retiring and taking the CBS gig.
Romo's former team understands the COVID issues at hand, as the Cowboys are ringing in the New Year in a way that feels very reminiscent of the old year: Positive testing for COVID-19, pushing the team into NFL protocol—meaning the Friday practice was a "virtual'' one.
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“All the virtual meetings are occurring with the coaches and players, and we’ll back to, I guess, what you would call a standard Saturday schedule in the morning,” coach Mike McCarthy said.
Safety Darian Thompson and defensive tackle Justin Hamilton on Saturday were moved to the NFL's reserve/COVID list.
The Cowboys are set to play the most important game of their 2020 season on the third day of 2021, Sunday at noon CT at the New York Giants. A Week 17 win there, along with a night-time loss by the Washington Football Team to Philadelphia, and Dallas wins the NFC East and a berth in the NFL Playoffs.
Cowboys Nation will watch it on TV ... and now they'll be joined on the couch by Tony Romo himself.