CeeDee Lamb could join Amari Cooper on the sidelines for the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day matchup against Raiders
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – After losing 9-9 to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said he’s glad his team is turning around so quickly by playing the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving .
“I think the chance to get up and get going is always preferred when you’re not playing as well as you’d like,” said McCarthy.
But the quick turnaround could mean the Cowboys are without their top wide receivers on Thursday.
Amari Cooper will not play against the Raiders, his former team, as he was put on the Reserve / COVID-19 list on Friday and as an unvaccinated player cannot return until November 28th at the earliest. And in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, CeeDee Lamb suffered a concussion, which meant he had to clear the logs on short notice to be available.
Lamb never missed a game in his two years with the Cowboys. Sunday was the first game Cooper missed since joining the Raiders in 2018.
McCarthy didn’t have an update on Lamb’s status after the game, but quarterback Dak Prescott said he spoke to the receiver in the locker room.
“He’ll be fine,” said Prescott. “I didn’t necessarily know what was going on, but that’s the nature of it. You have to go ahead and trust the guys we have. I did. He’ll be fine. He’ll be fine.” “
But whether he’s okay for Thursday remains to be seen.
Lamb caught three passes for 14 yards before landing hard on a pass that was intercepted in the end zone late in the second quarter. He went into the locker room with Head Athletic Trainer Jim Maurer at halftime and was disfellowshipped early in the third quarter.
Lamb leads the cowboys with 50 receptions for 740 yards and six touchdowns. Cooper has 44 receptions for 583 yards and five touchdowns. While Cooper’s absence impacted the Cowboys offensive on Sunday, when he landed on the COVID list 48 hours before kick-off wasn’t that big of a deal, according to McCarthy.
“They have special moves for certain recipients, but we felt we had enough time not to have to change our schedule much,” said McCarthy.
Prescott defended Cooper’s decision not to be vaccinated.
“It’s unfortunate not to have him, but to say ‘the choice he made’ means me [being] vaccinated, I could fold and miss two games.
The Cowboys have not returned a vaccinated player within the 10-day window this season.
Linebacker Keanu Neal, who was also not vaccinated, missed two games earlier this season.
“This is my teammate, this is my brother, we will support him,” Prescott said of Cooper. “That’s his decision, as I said at training camp when you asked me this question. So yeah, it’s a shame we don’t have him, but I know he will come back and us later in the season.”
With Lamb and Cooper, the main recipients of the Cowboys were Michael Gallup (who only played his third game this season due to a calf strain), Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown.
“I’m always ready when these guys can’t leave,” said Wilson, who had two drops on Sunday. “It’s sad to see CeeDee go down like that, and the shock with Coop, but I have to get in there for my team. Whatever they roll, I go in there and have to do it.”
Without Lamb and Cooper, Prescott threw only 216 yards at 28-of-43-pass. He entered the game averaging 8.2 yards per attempt, but averaging only 5 against Kansas City. He didn’t graduate more than 10 air yards until the second half.
The Cowboys took on the NFL’s top offensive in terms of yards and points per game on Sunday, but Sunday marked the first game started by Prescott that the Cowboys had against the Philadelphia Eagles since December 22, 2019 have not scored a touchdown, a 17-9 loss.
“Not really discouraged, but pissed off,” said Prescott. “Get mad when I don’t play well, the team doesn’t play well, and the offense doesn’t play well. We had a great opportunity to play against a team that have been in the Super Bowl for the past couple of years and prove it to ourselves , prove to each other what we are capable of [now], we have to get it past us. We have a way to go. There is a lot we can learn from tonight. This is a resilient team. We will keep fighting and getting better. “