Andy Dalton: Coronavirus ‘hit me hard’, says Dallas Cowboys quarterback

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton has spoken about his three weeks out of the game after testing positive for coronavirus, saying “it hit me hard”.

Dalton, signed by the Cowboys in the offseason to back up Dak Prescott, took over as the team’s starter after a devastating ankle injury to Prescott in Week Five. However, two weeks later, Dalton was knocked out of Dallas’ game against Washington with concussion and then tested positive for Covid-19.

Dalton has told ESPN that he doesn’t recall everything that took place after the hit against Washington, but that the entire coronavirus experience stuck with him, adding that he is still trying to get back his smell and taste.

“The COVID, it hit me hard the first day I had it, then it gradually started feeling better,” Dalton said. “By the end of it, I was ready to get out of quarantine and get back up here.

“It was a crazy three weeks for me, but I’m glad to be on the other side of it. I’m glad to be back with everybody and through those three weeks.”

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The Cowboys have lost four-straight, with rookie seventh-round draft pick Ben DiNucci struggling in the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, while Garrett Gilbert fared a little better in his first NFL start in defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dallas sit 2-7 on the season but, incredibly, are still in with a chance of winning the NFC East division and making the playoffs; Dalton is now back on the practice field this week and preparing to start on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

“It was a little frustrating,” Dalton said of his absence. “You miss the one game because of the concussion, first time dealing with that, and then the COVID.

“It’s like it all kind of hit at once. I wish I could have been out there, I wish I could have played in the two games that I missed.

“Everything is out in front of us. That’s the crazy thing with how this season has gone.

“Some games we feel like we have had chances in; all of that stuff doesn’t matter at this point.

“Now we have to move forward. We have to think about these next seven games, and that is all our focus is – what we have in front of us.”

Eagles place five on COVID-19 list

Elsewhere in the NFC East, current leaders the Eagles (3-5-1) have placed five players on the COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Wide receivers J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and John Hightower, running back Corey Clement and defensive end Vinny Curry have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Receiver Deontay Burnett on the Practice Squad COVID-19 list.

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