The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will be playing under the bright lights of AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. After playing in games on Sunday, the teams will have a short week to recuperate and get players back from injuries.
While several key Cowboys players returned to the lineup last week, illness is making its way through the locker room that may force players out of the Thanksgiving Day game. The Giants’ loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday also cost the team six players due to injury, with at least two players going down for a significant amount of time.
An illness affecting the Cowboys has been a problem for several weeks. Running back Tony Pollard dealt with it in October, while linebacker Micah Parsons missed practice time due to an illness late in the month.
Just last week, kicker Bryan Anger and defensive lineman Quinton Bohanna suffered from an illness ahead of the game against the Vikings. Bohanna sat out, but cornerback Kelvin Joseph was forced out of the game due to the lingering effects of the illness.
The Cowboys are reporting that some players and staff are wearing masks in an effort to slow the spread. Defensive ends Tarell Basham and Dante Fowler Jr., newly-acquired defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and Joseph were absent from Monday’s walkthrough and Tuesday’s practice due to illness.
One of the biggest blows, should he be unable to play Thursday, is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who has emerged as a key element of the Cowboys’ fearsome pass rush. The team has not ruled any players out for Thursday at this time, but some players could be game-time decisions.
After getting ready for a return against his former team, Cowboys linebacker Anthony Barr suffered what the team describes as a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Barr was injured during Saturday’s practice ahead of the Vikings game and was ruled out for the game. He’s not expected to play on Thanksgiving, as the team uses caution in dealing with injuries.
The team’s sack leader Micah Parsons is also dealing with an ankle injury after getting rolled up during a tackle on Sunday. Parsons briefly left the game and was limited on Tuesday but will likely be ready on Thursday.
The New York Giants know they will be without rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson who will miss the remainder of 2022 with an ACL tear suffered against Detroit on Sunday. Robinson is having an excellent first year and has been an integral part of the passing game this season.
The defense will also be without cornerback and punt-returner Adoree’ Jackson. Jackson suffered an MCL sprain while returning a punt against the Lions and is expected to miss the next month and a half. Jackson had 51 tackles and seven pass breakups in 2022 before suffering the knee injury.
In all, New York has listed seven players as “did not practice” on both Monday and Tuesday this week. Numerous players on the Giants’ offensive line are among the players who were unable to practice this week. A lack of depth along the line could spell disaster for the Giants facing the rabid and aggressive Dallas defense.
Dallas and New York kick-off at 3:30 p.m. CST from Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.