DALLAS — The Cowboys will open the season without one of their top players.
Coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday said offensive guard Zack Martin has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss Thursday night's opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Martin, a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, tested positive for COVID-19, according to McCarthy.
ESPN reported that Martin is fully vaccinated, which means he could return to play in five days if he does not have symptoms after testing negative twice. Unvaccinated players who test positive must quarantine for 10 days.
For now, Martin will miss a matchup against one of the league's top defenses in Tampa Bay.
"He's frustrated, obviously, but this is the world that we live in," McCarthy said, according to the Cowboys team website.
Connor McGovern, a third-year pro, is expected to replace Martin at right guard.
The Cowboys have battled with COVID-19 in recent weeks. Receiver CeeDee Lamb recently returned to practice after missing time due to COVID-19 protocols.
There was some good news Sunday for the Cowboys line: Offensive tackle La'el Collins returned to practice after dealing with a neck issue. Offensive guard Connor Williams also returned to practice on Sunday following a stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to the team site.