Andy Dalton's been cleared to play football again after contracting coronavirus ... but he says his nose and mouth still ain't ready to smell or taste things just yet.
The Dallas Cowboys QB -- who was diagnosed with COVID-19 at least 2 weeks ago -- told reporters Thursday despite testing negative now, his sense of smell and taste are still being affected by the virus.
"You can tell things are sweet," the 33-year-old said. "You can tell things are salty. You just don't get the flavor with it."
Dalton, trying to make light of it all, said it's actually helping his diet ... "I can eat really healthy right now, and it doesn't matter because I can't taste it."
Dalton told reporters the whole thing was actually pretty scary ... he says the virus hit him HARD the first day -- AND his wife and kids ended up coming down with it as well.
Andy, though, says everyone is now on the mend.
"Been a crazy three weeks," said Dalton, who had to recover from a concussion at the same time as his COVID diagnosis, "but excited to be on the other side of it."
As for his role with the Cowboys, he's begun practicing again for Dallas -- and head coach Mike McCarthy seemed optimistic earlier this week that he'd get the start against Minnesota.