ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys will be without their top two receivers in Thursday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders, with CeeDee Lamb unavailable due to a concussion sustained Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, multiple sources said.
Coach Mike McCarthy earlier this week expressed his optimism that Lamb would face the Raiders before the receiver goes through a limited portion of Wednesday’s practice. He met team doctors and an independent neurologist after training, and sources said he approved the protocol. Lamb, however, could be prone to a second concussion in a short time, which could have left him out for several weeks.
The Cowboys already knew they would be out for a second straight game without Amari Cooper, who is on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Lamb, who leads the Cowboys in receptions (50), yards (740) and touchdowns (6), was able to get through meetings Monday and picked up his physical activity Tuesday and Wednesday. Quarterback Dak Prescott said Lamb was “amazing” on Wednesday. After going through sessions with Lamb on Tuesday and Wednesday, Prescott didn’t think there would be any restrictions on the game.
The top Cowboys receivers going into the game are Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown and Malik Turner.
The Cowboys have been careful with their players this season regarding injuries. Left tackle Tyron Smith could have faced the Chiefs last week with an ankle injury, but the team chose to give him more rest with a quick turnaround to the Raiders game. He’s going to start today. Prescott could have played against the Minnesota Vikings on Halloween despite a calf injury, but he was delayed an extra week to avoid a potential long-term problem.
The Cowboys will also do without offensive line coach Joe Philbin, who is in COVID protocol, according to sources. Assistant line coach Jeff Blasko takes over. Philbin is the third coach to miss time due to COVID. He joins defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who missed a preseason game, and running back coach Skip Peete, who missed the Nov. 7 game against the Denver Broncos.
Two of the Cowboys’ three strength and conditioning coaches are also on COVID protocol. Cedric Smith was added to the list earlier in the week and Kendall Smith was added to the list on Thursday. No other players appear to have been affected.
Lamb’s exclusion was first reported by Fox Sports.