Cowboys' Micah Parsons put on COVID list ahead of Eagles game

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Cowboys' top defender on COVID list ahead of Eagles game originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles might avoid playing the Cowboys' best defender when the two teams meet in Week 18.

Micah Parsons, Dallas's virtuosic rookie edge rusher, was placed on the NFL's Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, according to an announcement from the team.

It's now unclear whether Parsons will clear protocols in time for the Cowboys' Saturday night date with the Eagles in Philadelphia.

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If Parsons is unvaccinated, he will miss at a minimum five days before he can return, which would make it impossible for him to play Saturday. If he's vaccinated, there's a slim chance he could return.

The Cowboys' official team website called his status for Saturday's game "in question".

Parsons, 21, has been a monster for the Cowboys in his first year in the NFL, earning a Pro Bowl nod as a rookie and garnering some support for Defensive Player of the Year.

He has 13.0 sacks, 30 QB hits, a league-high 20 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles in 16 games this season. In his first game this year against the Eagles, Parsons had four tackles, one tackle for a loss, one QB hit, 0.5 sacks, and a pass defended.

The Cowboys have already clinched the NFC East title and at 11-5 are currently the No. 4 seed in the conference. They can move as high as the No. 2 seed if the 49ers beat the Rams, the Seahawks beat the Cardinals, and Panthers beat the Buccaneers this weekend, along with the Cowboys winning. If that happens, the Cowboys will face the Eagles in the first round.

The Eagles, meanwhile, have already clinched a Wild Card spot and at 9-7 are currently the No. 7 seed in the conference. They can move as high as the No. 6 seed if the Rams win and either the Eagles win or the Saints beat the Falcons.

It'll be interesting to see how many normal starters actually play in Saturday's game as both teams look to protect their best players ahead of the playoffs.