Category Archives: NFL

Green Bay Packers WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring) out for Week 3 game at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This game still has Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but the quarterbacks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers won’t have anything close to their full complement of receivers on Sunday.

The Packers for sure won’t have Sammy Watkins, their leading receiver through two games, because of a hamstring injury. Two of their other top receivers, rookie second-round pick Christian Watson (hamstring) and veteran Randall Cobb (illness), were listed as questionable on Friday.

The only one of the Packers’ top four receivers who has been cleared to play and taken off the injury report is Allen Lazard, who has been limited in practice this week because of the ankle injury that kept him out of the season opener.

Lazard returned for last week’s game versus the Chicago Bears and is the only receiver on the roster to have caught a touchdown this season

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Packers coach Matt LaFleur stated Friday that rookie receiver Romeo Doubs is “probably going to have to take more of a [work] load this week.”

The Buccaneers already knew earlier in the week that they would be without leading receiver Mike Evans because of his one-game suspension for last Sunday’s altercation in their game versus the New Orleans Saints.

Tampa Bay also won’t have receiver Chris Godwin, who was ruled out Friday because of a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Julio Jones (knee) was listed as questionable. The Packers also could be without one of their top tight ends, Marcedes Lewis (questionable with a groin injury).

Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who has yet to play in the 2022 season, also was listed as questionable as he tries to return from multiple knee surgeries.

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Cardinals, Rams meet Sunday for 4th time in calendar year

There aren’t many secrets between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, teams that will face each other Sunday for the fourth time in the past calendar year.

There’s also no secret the Rams have had a huge advantage of late.

The defending Super Bowl champions have won 10 of 11 games in the series dating to 2017, including a dominant 34-11 playoff triumph in the NFC wild-card round.

“They’ve obviously had our number here for a long time and that’s not lost upon us, but we’re just trying to improve,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “The last two weeks, we have started so slow, and we had 12 penalties last week. There’s a lot that we have to focus on.

“We know they’re a talented team and defending champs, so it’s really been about us improving this week.” The Cardinals (1-1) are in a good mood after last week’s stunning come-from-behind win. Arizona trailed Las Vegas 20-0 at halftime, but rallied for a 29-23 victory when Byron Murphy Jr. returned Hunter Renfrow’s fumble 59 yards for a touchdown with 3:51 left in overtime.

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The Rams (1-1) bounced back from a rough loss to Buffalo in Week 1 by defeating Atlanta 31-27 last week.

“I think they know us. We know them,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said of the rivalry. “Every year is a little bit different, players are different, schemes a little bit different, how those players fit into that scheme, all of it. But they’re a really talented football team.”

The Cardinals did beat the Rams once last season, 37-20 in Inglewood.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said facing the Rams — including seven-time All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald — is something he enjoys, no matter how difficult it can be.

“I’ve learned to embrace and love the opportunity to be able to play against (Donald) just because he’s not going to be here forever and playing the game forever,” Murray said.

“To be able to step on the field with him is an honor and to be able to go to battle against him. Like I said, he’s one of the best ever do it, so that’s how I see it.”

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QB Justin Herbert day-to-day, ‘feeling more comfortable,’ says Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley

Six days removed from suffering a fracture to his rib cartilage, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is considered day-to-day ahead of a Week 3 matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, coach Brandon Staley said Wednesday.

“He’s gotten a lot of rest since the last game,” Staley said. “He’s feeling more comfortable. I know that he was able to do some light throwing yesterday, some rotational work, but we’re just going to take it day by day and see where his comfort level is.”

Herbert did not throw any passes during the brief portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday. The third-year quarterback watched as backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Easton Stick took throwing reps.

Herbert did partake in handing balls off to running backs and was listed as a limited participant on the Chargers’ injury report.

Receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Donald Parham Jr., both of whom have been dealing with hamstring injuries, also returned to practice in a limited capacity. Staley stated whether Herbert plays Sunday will be a decision that begins with the quarterback.

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“It will start with him and then obviously him feeling good about what the medical team feels like is best, him weighing the options and then us making a good decision,” Staley said.

The Chargers doctor who is caring for Herbert’s injury is being sued for medical malpractice by former Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is seeking at least $5 million after suffering a punctured lung while being treated for a rib injury in 2020, according to copies of the original lawsuit and subsequent filings related to the case obtained by ESPN.

When asked Wednesday if there was any trepidation about Herbert’s treatment given the recent history of quarterback care, Staley said the care of players is of utmost importance.

“Any player that goes through something like this, that’s your biggest responsibility as a coach is to take care of your players, “Staley said.

“So I think we have full alignment with Justin and his family, his agents, and then the medical professionals, and that’s what we’re going to try to do is have alignment that way and just kind of trust the process and hopefully get him well soon.”

Herbert suffered the injury in last Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

With 5 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game, Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna hit Herbert, leaving the quarterback lying on the field for an extended period.

Herbert returned after missing only one play and was immediately hit again, as he was crushed between Chiefs pass-rushers Frank Clark and George Karlaftis. Herbert, however, remained in the game. In two games, Herbert has passed for 613 yards and six touchdowns, with an interception.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign WR Cole Beasley to practice squad

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sign Cole Beasley to their practice squad, a source confirmed to ESPN, adding the 11-year veteran to a short-handed wide receiver corps.

Beasley was released by the Bills in March and did not sign with another team as a free agent in the offseason.

The Bucs plan to elevate Beasley to their active roster soon, according to NFL Network, which first reported the signing Tuesday. The Bills had granted Beasley permission to seek a trade in early March but lastly released him in a move that created about $6.1 million in salary-cap space.

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Beasley, 33, now will join a Tampa Bay team entering its Week 3 showdown versus the Packers without star receiver Mike Evans, who was suspended one game for his role in Sunday’s brawl with the Saints.

The Bucs also are dealing with injuries to veteran receivers Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, who both missed their triumph over the Saints.

Evans’ appeal of his one-game suspension was heard Tuesday, sources told ESPN, confirming a report by NFL Network. James Thrash, who is jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA was the appeals officer. A ruling is expected this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

Beasley concluded with 82 receptions in each of the past two seasons with the Bills and has been a reliable slot receiver over his 10-year career with Buffalo and the Cowboys.

He missed a match during the 2020 season after testing positive for COVID-19 while being unvaccinated and reportedly was fined multiple times for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

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Diggs scores 3 TDs for Bills in 41-7 rout of Titans

Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes, including three to Stefon Diggs, and the Buffalo Bills rolled past Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans 41-7 in their home opener on Monday night.

The Bills followed a season-opening 31-10 rout of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams by throttling an opponent that has been their nemesis in each of the past two seasons. Fullback Reggie Gilliam and linebacker Matt Milano, with a 43-yard interception return, also scored touchdowns for Buffalo.

Allen topped 300 yards passing for the 15th time of his career, completing 26 of 38 attempts for 317 yards, and sat out the entire fourth quarter. Diggs had 12 catches for 148 yards. He has exceeded 100 yards in each of his first two games, a feat accomplished previously for the Bills only by Hall of Famer Andre Reed.

“When we execute, how we know we’re supposed to execute, success typically leads to success,” Allen said. “We’re just trying to be the best version of ourselves.”

The Bills have topped 30 points twice after doing so nine times last year. And their defense limited Tennessee to 182 yards of offense and 12 first downs, while registering two sacks and forcing four turnovers.

The Titans, coming off a 21-20 season-opening loss to the New York Giants, opened 0-2 for the first time since 2012.

The two-time defending AFC South champions face numerous questions about a defense that gave up 313 yards passing a week after allowing 238 yards rushing. Meantime, Henry and their offense continue to sputter. The two-time rushing champion was limited to 25 yards on 13 carries while scoring on a 2-yard plunge.

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“We got our (butts) kicked, plain and simple,” coach Mike Vrabel said after the most lopsided loss in his four-plus seasons coaching the Titans.

“They outplayed us and they outcoached us, and that’s the definition of it. We’re going to go back to work and try to figure out how to win a football game.”

Injuries affected both teams, the most serious involving Bills cornerback Dane Jackson, who hurt his neck in a troubling collision with a teammate and was taken to a hospital for valuation. The Bills stated Jackson had full movement in his limbs.

Coach Sean McDermott stated Jackson was still awaiting test results.

The entire Bills team gathered around Jackson as he was loaded into an ambulance on the field.

“You go from being a coach to just a human. That’s a real moment,” McDermott said. “Just praying for him. It’s an unfortunate situation.”

Otherwise, the two-time defending AFC East champion Bills continued making a splash in their second consecutive prime-time appearance, while at the same time easing frustrations of the past, including a 42-16 loss to Tennessee in 2020.

Still stung by memories of Allen being stuffed for no gain on fourth down near the goal line in the final seconds of the last season’s loss 34-31 loss in which Buffalo squandered a seven-point fourth-quarter lead, the Bills scored on their opening drive and never looked back.

“When you can play a game like that, it doesn’t matter who it’s against,” Allen said. “That’s a good team that we played. It’s a very well-coached team. For us to go do that was great.”

Up 10-7, Allen and Diggs took over by connecting for two touchdowns spanning halftime. Faking left, Allen found Diggs in an opening for a 4-yard touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter.

Allen and Diggs then blew the game open by connecting on a 46-yard touchdown on Buffalo’s first possession of the second half. Given time in the pocket, Allen threw a perfectly placed pass to Diggs, who reached out to catch the ball before tumbling head-first into the end zone.

The wheels fell off for the Titans, who were outscored 24-0 in the third quarter. Tennessee rookie Kyle Philips muffed a punt for a second consecutive week, and Ryan Tannehill threw interceptions on consecutive possessions.

Tannehill concluded 11 of 20 for 117 yards and was benched following Milano’s interception with 3:49 left in the third quarter. Rookie Malik Willis took over, and if Tannehill continues to struggle, Tennessee fans will want to see more of the young backup.

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Stafford, Rams hold off Falcons for 31-27 victory

Jalen Ramsey was calm and collected, even in the maelstrom of the fourth quarter that saw the Atlanta Falcons putting together a late rally versus the Los Angeles Rams.

While most of the 71,802 inside of SoFi Stadium were dreading the worst Sunday, the All-Pro cornerback knew he was going to be a deciding factor in the final minutes.

With the Falcons driving for a potential go-ahead touchdown, Ramsey picked off Marcus Mariota’s pass intended for Bryan Edwards in the end zone, permitting the Rams to hold on for a 31-27 victory.

“I told my teammates it was gonna come back to me and it did,” Ramsey said. “I just continued to focus and do my job. That was going through my mind because in the past we pressed to make those plays. And when you do that, it doesn’t end up well for you.”

The defending Super Bowl champions led the entire game. But they nearly blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead that would have given the young Falcons an unlikely comeback of their own from that infamous score — Atlanta’s lead in the 2017 Super Bowl before New England rallied to win — to celebrate.

Mariota had second-half touchdown passes to Drake London and Olamide Zaccheaus to bring the Falcons within 31-17. Special teams and defense then came through to give the veteran quarterback a final chance.

Troy Anderson blocked a punt that Lorenzo Carter returned 26 yards for a touchdown, and a 2-point conversion pass from Mariota to London brought the Falcons within 31-25 with 5:06 left. It was their first blocked punt TD since 1990.

Los Angeles turned it over on their ensuing drive when Darren Hall forced Kupp to fumble and recovered it at the Rams 37. Mariota got the Falcons to the Rams 24 before throwing the fateful interception.

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“That’s on me, I’ve got to do a better job of communicating that across the board,” said Mariota, who was 17 of 26 for 196 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. “I think, kind of throughout the game I could have done a better job operationally and just communicating with the guys so that everybody’s on the same page.”

Los Angeles took a safety when returner Brandon Powell ran out of the end zone on punt formation after a three-and-out.

After the free kick, Atlanta took over at the Falcons 40, but Mariota was sacked before he could get a Hail Mary attempt off on the final play to ensure Atlanta’s fourth consecutive 0-2 start.

“There’s a lot of different, very uncharacteristic things, but they happened. And we still found a way,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “We’re not going to run away from some of the things that we didn’t do well today. But we’re also going to allow ourselves to appreciate being able to come away with a win.”

Matthew Stafford threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns and Cooper Kupp had two TD catches for the Rams, who bounced back from a disappointing defeat versus the Buffalo Bills in their season opener.

Stafford completed his first 12 passes en route to going 27 of 36. Kupp had 11 catches for 108 yards and touchdowns on consecutive drives in the second and third quarters.

Kupp made an over-the-shoulder catch on a fade pattern on second-and-3 from Atlanta’s 3 late in the first half to give the Rams a 21-3 lead. The Super Bowl MVP’s first score came three plays after Rams rookie cornerback Cobie Durant picked off a pass bobbled by Cordarrelle Patterson and returned it 51 yards up the right sideline to the Falcons 9.

The Rams then took the second half kickoff and extended their lead by another touchdown when Kupp caught a quick pass and juked safety Jaylinn Hawkins for a 10-yard TD.

The Falcons were able to move the ball in the first half, but were done in by mistakes. The Rams scored their 21 points after a missed field goal by Younghoe Koo, turnover on downs near midfield and Mariota’s first interception.

“Obviously it wasn’t perfect and we need to break through, but one thing about our guys, no matter what has happened, we have a chance until the last play to win it,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “Obviously we didn’t make enough plays, but the game playing gave us enough and the guys kept grinding out.”

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Seattle Seahawks star safety Jamal Adams expected to miss rest of NFL season

Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams is expected to miss the remainder of the NFL season after suffering an injury to his quadriceps tendon in the team’s opener, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Seahawks placed Adams on injured reserve on Thursday and signed defensive back Teez Tabor off the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad to take his place on their 53-man roster.

Adams and the Seahawks considered the three-time Pro Bowl selection was in for a bounce-back campaign after a disappointing 2021 season in which he was held without a sack in 12 games. But any chance of that ended in the second quarter of Seattle’s 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday night when Adams was carted off the field after he was hurt while blitzing former teammate Russell Wilson.

Coach Pete Carroll called it a “serious” injury postgame and said on his weekly radio show on Seattle Sports 710 AM on Tuesday morning that Adams would “have to get some work on that,” though he stopped short of declaring then that Adams’ season was over.

NFL Network first reported Thursday that Adams would have season-ending surgery.

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Adams limped off the field in obvious pain, heavily favoring his left leg, after delivering pressure and a hit on Wilson that helped force a third-down incompletion. After being examined in the medical tent, he was helped onto an injury cart. Adams was visibly upset, at one point appearing to burst out in frustration, as he was driven into the locker room.

Carroll has said the injury is to Adams’ quadriceps tendon, which attaches the quad muscle to the top of the kneecap.

“The fact that he is such a heartthrob about the game of football, he loves playing and he just can’t deal with it right now about ‘how could this keep happening?'” Carroll stated on his radio show. “It was good he had his mom and dad in the locker room really during the game when he was in there to kind of help him through it and all that, but it was really tough. So I hope everybody sends the love to him.”

Adams had three tackles and defended a pass before his injury. Josh Jones replaced him for the rest of the game. Seattle also has Ryan Neal as a safety option. Neal made four starts in 2020 while Adams was sidelined by a groin injury.

Tabor, 26, played safety last season with the Chicago Bears under defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who’s now on Seattle’s defensive staff.

Adams missed only two games over his first three seasons with the New York Jets but then missed nine matches over his first two seasons with the Seahawks — four in 2020 and the final five last season after he suffered another torn shoulder labrum that required surgery.

Adams missed time early in training camp this summer after rebreaking the middle finger on his left hand, another injury he has dealt with in the past. He had finger surgeries in each of the past two offseasons.

Adams and the Seahawks were hoping that Seattle’s new defense — with its emphasis on split-safety looks — would put him in position for a bounce-back.

During his stellar debut season in Seattle in 2020, Adams set the NFL record for sacks by a defensive back with 9.5, earning him his third straight Pro Bowl nod, despite playing through a shoulder labrum tear that season. But then came his zero-sack 2021 season, which ended after 12 games when he retore his left shoulder labrum.

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Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen ruled out

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker will not play in Thursday night’s game versus the Los Angeles Chargers due to an ankle injury.

The Chargers, meanwhile, will be without starting wide receiver Keenan Allen, who suffered a hamstring injury in Los Angeles’ Week 1 triumph over the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Chiefs listed Butker as out — as did the Chargers with Allen and tight end Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring) — for the game on their final injury report of the week.

The Chiefs this week signed former New York Jets kicker Matt Ammendola to their practice squad, and he could be elevated to their active roster in time for Thursday night’s game.

Ammedola, who kicked for the Chiefs during their only practice session of the week on Tuesday, made 13 of 19 field goals for the Jets last season.

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Butker injured his left ankle on a kickoff during Sunday’s win versus the Cardinals in Arizona. Coach Andy Reid blamed the injuries to Butker and cornerback Trent McDuffie on what he said was loose turf on the recently re-sodded field in Arizona.

McDuffie was placed on injured reserve this because of a hamstring injury.

After his injury, Butker made three PATs and a 54-yard field goal. Safety Justin Reid handled kickoffs and went 1-of-2 on PATs.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley had stated Tuesday that it wasn’t “looking great” that Allen, who has been selected to five Pro Bowls in his career, would be able to play on Thursday night. Allen had four catches for 66 yards before departing in the first half on Sunday because of his injury.

With Allen out, expect receivers Joshua Palmer, DeAndre Carter and Jalen Guyton to see increased opportunity.

Also, Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson was limited Wednesday and is officially questionable. He has a “50-50” chance of playing, Staley said earlier this week.

“He’s improving,” Staley said Tuesday. “He’s headed in the right direction, but I think there is still a lot to be decided before game time on Thursday night.” Jackson underwent ankle surgery on Aug. 23 and was given a two-to-four week timetable to return. He was inactive versus the Raiders.

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Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt doesn’t need surgery, expected to miss six weeks

Doctors determined Tuesday afternoon that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J. Watt does not surgery on his torn pectoral and the star pass-rusher is expected to miss about six weeks, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Watt, who suffered the injury on Sunday in a 23-20 overtime triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals, had sought out second and third opinions on the injury.

Watt on Tuesday tweeted a gif of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character saying “I’ll be back.”

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stated earlier Tuesday that the organization was “encouraged” about the injury outlook for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

“We’re probably in a lot better place than we were after the game,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “… I can definitively say that T.J. won’t play this week [against the Patriots], but I won’t make any commitments beyond that.

“We’re encouraged, and we’ll just continue to look at the situation and gain opinions and do what’s appropriate.”

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Watt appeared to suffer a torn left pectoral muscle in the final seconds of regulation when he tried to sack Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, and as he walked off the field, he told medical personnel that he tore his pec. Watt recorded a sack and an interception in Sunday’s match.

Asked if Watt would go on injured reserve, Tomlin was noncommittal on Tuesday.

Injured reserve would rule Watt out for a minimum of four games. The Steelers can designate up to eight players to return from IR throughout the season, and each player can return twice.

In Watt’s absence, the team will first turn to outside linebackers Malik Reed, gotten in a trade with the Broncos last month, and Jamir Jones, whom the organization grabbed off waivers. The Steelers signed veteran linebacker Ryan Anderson to their practice squad later Tuesday, but Tomlin didn’t commit to playing new faces on Sunday.

Last season, Watt had 22.5 sacks to tie the NFL’s single-season sack record. He has 73 sacks in his career.

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Dak Prescott undergoes surgery on right thumb as Dallas Cowboys prep for QB’s absence

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had surgery on his right thumb Monday afternoon, and sources continue to believe he will miss six to eight weeks as he goes through rehabilitation.

Given that timeline, Prescott is looking at a return date of Oct. 30 vs. the Chicago Bears at the earliest, but it’s more likely to be Nov. 13 versus the Green Bay Packers in Mike McCarthy’s return to Lambeau Field.

Prescott suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his hand twice hit the hand of linebacker Shaq Barrett. After a screen pass to Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott went to the sideline because he could no longer grip the ball.

After the game, Prescott said, “I was told it was much cleaner than it could have been.” He visited with the team’s hand specialist, Dr. Thomas Diliberti, on Monday and had the surgery soon thereafter. “You know Dak’s personality, I mean, he would’ve had the surgery last night if they would have allowed it,” McCarthy said. “That’s the way he’s wired.”

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The Cowboys now have to figure out how to win without Prescott while he recovers, starting with Sunday’s matchup versus the Cincinnati Bengals with Cooper Rush as their starter. The Cowboys are 5-7 in games without Prescott in his career, although Rush won his first career start last year against the Minnesota Vikings, throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns.

He completed 7 of 13 passes for 64 yards after replacing Prescott against the Buccaneers.

“I think the biggest thing is especially at the quarterback position because obviously the importance of it, is don’t overreact to it,” McCarthy said. “… Because at the end of the day, we’ve got to make sure we’re giving the players the tools to win the game on Sunday. The nice thing about Cooper is Cooper’s been in our system, knows our system inside and out. We won’t be in that position of trying not to do too much or vice versa. Cooper gives us the ability to keep playing.”

McCarthy acknowledged there is an emotional challenge the Cowboys will have to deal with in losing their leader.

In 2020, Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that knocked him out for the season, and the Cowboys lost their first four games without him.

“Definitely going to be tough, but being in the NFL, that’s all a part of this game,” running back Tony Pollard said. “It’s a 100 percent injury rate so guys get injured, so we just have to make up for it. Everybody has to lock in, continue doing what they’ve been doing and just focus on doing their job the best that they can.”

McCarthy stated the Cowboys are looking to add a third quarterback to the roster with Will Grier on the practice squad and ready to assume the No. 2 role in Prescott’s absence. He has started two games in his career, both with the Carolina Panthers in 2019.

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