Tony Romo to Miss Sunday's NFL Broadcast Due to COVID-19 Protocols

Sunday afternoon, the NFL's regular season will come to a close with 16 games. CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz will call one of the high-profile matchups as usual, but he will have a new partner in the booth. COVID-19 protocols will force Tony Romo to miss work for the first time since joining the company.

CBS Sports announced the change on Saturday afternoon but did not provide further details. The company did not reveal whether Romo tested positive for coronavirus or if he just happened to be exposed to someone that did. While he remains away from the broadcast, CBS Sports analyst Boomer Esiason will join Nantz in the booth. The former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback generally spends his Sundays with the NFL Today crew in Nate Burleson, James Brown, Phil Simms and Bill Cowher.

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback was set to join Nantz for a high-profile battle between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals. Both teams need a win to reach the playoffs, but only one will achieve this goal on Sunday. They will do so while a different former quarterback analyzes the play on the field.

CBS Sports is not the only company to deal with logistical issues due to the coronavirus. ESPN faced a similar issue ahead of Friday's Sugar Bowl game featuring the Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes. College football analyst Kirk Herbstreit tested positive for the coronavirus and announced that he would not head to New Orleans to call the semifinal match. Instead, ESPN set up an assortment of gear at Herbstreit's home and made it possible for him to call the game safely.

"Earlier this week, I tested positive for Covid," Herbstreit tweeted on Tuesday. "Thankfully, I feel good & my family is okay, but going through protocols that will keep me home. I will be working from home, Jan. 1 on [College GameDay] & later that day, on the call for the [Sugar Bowl] with Chris (Fowler), Maria (Taylor) & Tom (Rinaldi). Can't wait for the rematch between [Clemson] and [Ohio State]."


Herbstreit found success calling the battle between two top NFL prospects in Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence despite working from isolation. He and ESPN both showed that adjusting to a positive coronavirus test and providing entertainment for viewers is still possible. However, Romo will not have that same opportunity. The announcement about his absence came at such a time that CBS Sports likely could not have set up the equipment at his home.