Amari Cooper was sidelined against the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and, because he's unvaccinated, sources confirm to CBS Sports, he won't take the field against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving either -- unvaccinated players being forced into a mandatory 10-day quarantine by the league. His presence was greatly missed in the 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Week 11, and now Dak Prescott will potentially be without CeeDee Lamb as well on Thursday, after Lamb's head banged against the turf at Arrowhead Stadium on the final play of the first half.
The result of the play was Prescott's first of two interceptions but, more importantly, Lamb never returned to the contest after being ruled out at halftime and placed in concussion protocol. Considering the Cowboys are on a short week in preparation to play host to the Raiders at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving, while it's not impossible, Lamb could clear protocol in time though the odds are not in his favor.
If Lamb does join Cooper in missing the game, it will apply that much more pressure not necessarily on Michael Gallup, but certainly Cedrick Wilson Jr. and Noah Brown -- the latter two having two critical drops a piece that helped prevent Prescott and the offense from climbing out of the doldrums.
It will also mark the first game Lamb has missed in his two-year career.
Statistically speaking, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will have to scheme around the fact he's missing a 1,000-yard receiver and one that's a hair away from having been one in 2020. That won't be an easy feat, but it'll be made much more so if Wilson and Brown -- both of whom having shown they can step up in key moments this season -- can get back to brass tacks when things get underway on turkey day. It's expected they'll see the return of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith, which will aid greatly in giving Prescott more time to cook and potentially avoid the team's first two-game losing streak of 2021.
They'll get no sympathy from the defense, after losing starters Neville Gallimore, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory but still marching into Kansas City and turning Patrick Mahomes into a pedestrian quarterback on his own field, and leading the league in takeaways for much of the season -- a trend they continued at Arrowhead Stadium in a losing effort (that wasn't attributable to them).
A usually robust offensive smörgåsbord for Moore and Prescott might be absent the cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes when the angry Raiders stroll into town on Thanksgiving, so it's paramount the stuffing and macaroni & cheese taste better than they have all year; and especially considering Dan Quinn and the defense have shown they can cook a ham like nobody's business.