Keanu Neal tests positive for COVID-19, out for Monday

Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Cowboys linebacker Keanu Neal was already on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a close contact, with Dallas placing him on the list on Wednesday.

But he won’t be coming off the COVID-19 list after a five-day absence.

Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Saturday that Neal has tested positive and will be out for Monday’s game against the Giants. Because Neal is unvaccinated — otherwise he wouldn’t have been on the COVID-19 list for being a close contact — he has a mandatory 10-day isolation. That means he will also miss Dallas’ Week 4 contest against Carolina.

Neal signed with the Cowboys as a free agent in April, following defensive coordinator Dan Quinn over from Atlanta. He’s played 74 percent of the team’s defensive snaps so far in 2021, recording nine total tackles and one tackle for loss.

The Cowboys also placed defensive end Bradlee Anae on COVID reserve on Friday for testing positive.

Dallas’ defense has taken a hit, with reserve defensive end Dorance Armstrong (ankle) and reserve defensive tackle Carlos Watkins (knee) also out for Monday. Also defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is on injured reserve.

Defensive end Randy Gregory, however, is back after a stint on the COVID-19 list.