Andy Dalton’s sight, hearing and touch are intact, so he is going to play quarterback Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys.
It is Dalton’s other two senses – taste and smell – that are not functioning properly more than two weeks after he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
“You can tell things are sweet. You can tell things are salty,” Dalton said. “You just don’t get the flavor with it.”
Dalton has not played since he suffered a concussion on a vicious hit by linebacker Jon Bostic on Oct. 25 against Washington.
“I remember deciding to slide and then there’s a little bit there that I don’t remember,” said Dalton, who received the first concussion diagnosis of his 141-game NFL career. “In the moment, you don’t realize it. But then the aftermath of it all, kind of going back, you realize you’re missing some of your memory of stuff that’s happened.”
Dalton’s return was delayed when he tested positive for COVID-19, along with his wife and one of his sons. The Cowboys started two other quarterbacks in his absence.
“It hit me hard the first day that I had it, and then gradually started feeling better,” Dalton said. “By the end of it, I was ready to get out of quarantine and get back up here.”
The Cowboys (2-7) are coming off a bye week to face the Minnesota Vikings. They are alive in the lowly NFC East Division and have the easiest remaining schedule of the four teams – with just one opponent ahead with a winning record.
“I can eat really healthy right now,” Dalton joked, “and it doesn’t matter because I can’t taste it.”
The taste of victory is unforgettable, however.