Already without their top wide receiver heading into Thanksgiving, there's at least a chance the Dallas Cowboys won't be without another. Amari Cooper remains in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 just ahead of the team's loss against the Kansas City Chiefs and, due to the mandatory 10-day rule for unvaccinated players, the four-time Pro Bowler will miss the bout with the Las Vegas Raiders as well. CeeDee Lamb, who suffered a concussion on Sunday, entered league protocol and has a steep hill to climb on a short week to be cleared in time for kickoff on Thursday, but Monday offered some optimism.
Speaking to 105.3FM the Fan, team exec Stephen Jones was upbeat about the possibility of Lamb taking the field against the Raiders, going so far as to heavily imply a lack of residual symptoms after Lamb banged his head against the turf at Arrowhead Stadium on the final play of the first half -- not returning to the game thereafter.
"He's doing really well," said Jones. "So, he'll have an opportunity to play. If he were having issues today, then you'd probably be a little leery, but the fact that so far he's doing well."
That is promising news indeed for the Cowboys, particularly in seeing Lamb present in team meetings, because being allowed to take on cognitive duties (i.e., paying attention in said meetings and learning) is a part of league's concussion protocol, but the Cowboys can't get too far ahead of themselves here. For no matter how much Lamb professes himself as "OK" or "fine," his medical clearance remains in the hands of an independent physician.
For those asking…— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) November 22, 2021
Here is the protocol CeeDee Lamb must clear on a short week for the #Cowboys — the team feeling optimistic he might be able to: pic.twitter.com/UZwqbOmm75
"He'll have to go through testing," Jones added. "So, we won't really know that until Thursday."
Head coach Mike McCarthy shares the same positivity as Jones though, especially after seeing Lamb in the building.
"That's a positive," McCarthy told media on Monday afternoon. "Once he gets to the different levels of the protocols -- the fact that he was in the meetings today is definitely a big step in the right direction."
Lamb wasn't off to the best start against the Chiefs but, then again, no one on the offensive side of the ball was.
Things only got worse once he exited the game, however, and his presence will be needed against the Raiders after seeing both Cedrick Wilson Jr. and Noah Brown struggle to reel in passes on Sunday. The latter two are capable of stepping up as needed, as they've shown several times this season, but it might be too much of an ask to suddenly become WR2 and WR3; and in a game the Cowboys need to win to avoid a two-game losing streak that would create more distance between them and the No. 1 spot in the NFC.
But, if Lamb is eventually ruled out, they'll have no choice but to do just that, which will go a long way in helping a "pissed off" Dak Prescott to avoid becoming much more so.