Cowboys down top 2 receivers as Lamb ruled out

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys were without their top two receivers for Thursday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with CeeDee Lamb unavailable because of a concussion sustained Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Coach Mike McCarthy expressed optimism earlier this week that Lamb would play against the Raiders before the receiver went through a limited part of Wednesday’s practice. He met with team doctors and an independent neurologist after the workout, and sources said he cleared the protocol. However, Lamb could be susceptible to a second concussion in a short amount of time, which could have knocked him out multiple weeks.

The Cowboys already knew they would be without Amari Cooper, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, for a second straight game.

Lamb, who leads the Cowboys in receptions (50), yards (740) and receiving touchdowns (6), was able to go through meetings Monday and picked up his physical activity Tuesday and Wednesday. Quarterback Dak Prescott said Lamb was “great” Wednesday. After going through sessions with Lamb on Tuesday and Wednesday, Prescott did not think there would be any limitations going into the game.

The Cowboys’ top receivers going into the game were Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown and Malik Turner.

The Cowboys have erred on the side of caution with their players this season regarding injuries. Left tackle Tyron Smith could have played Sunday against the Chiefs with an ankle injury, but the team opted to give him more rest with a quick turnaround to the Raiders game. He started Thursday. Prescott could have played on Halloween against the Minnesota Vikings despite a calf injury, but he was held out an extra week to avoid a potential long-term issue.

The Cowboys were also without offensive line coach Joe Philbin, who is in the COVID protocol, according to sources. Assistant line coach Jeff Blasko took over his duties. Philbin is the third position coach to miss time because of COVID, joining defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who missed a preseason game, and running backs coach Skip Peete, who missed the Nov. 7 meeting against the Denver Broncos.

Two of the Cowboys’ three strength and conditioning coaches are also in the COVID protocol. Cedric Smith was placed on the list earlier in the week, and Kendall Smith was added to the list Thursday. No other players appear to be affected.

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