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Sources — Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb out Thursday due to concussion

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys will be without their top two receivers in Thursday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with CeeDee Lamb unavailable due to a concussion suffered on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to multiple sources.

On Friday, coach Mike McCarthy expressed optimism 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 (six), was able to go through meetings on Monday and picked up his physical activity on 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 will be 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 last week against the Chiefs with an ankle injury but opted to give him more rest with a quick turnaround to the Raiders’ game. He will start today. 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 will also be without offensive line coach Joe Philbin, who is in the COVID protocol, according to sources. Assistant line coach Jeff Blasko will take 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.

Lamb being ruled out was first reported by FOX Sports.

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New York Giants QB Daniel Jones ‘preparing to play’ against Miami Dolphins despite a neck injury

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones are holding out hope he can play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins despite a neck injury.

Jones confirmed Wednesday he suffered a neck strain — nothing more — in Sunday’s 13-7 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s keeping open the possibility of being ready by the weekend.

“Yeah, I think I’m going through the week preparing to play,” Jones said after being a noncontact participant in practice. “Getting myself ready to play.”

The Giants (4-7) will have both Jones and backup Mike Glennon take reps this week at practice. A source told ESPN on Wednesday it is 50-50 whether Jones would be able to play. Glennon would start if he can’t.

Jones, who the Giants officially listed as limited in Wednesday’s practice, is expected to have a late-week checkup on his neck that should help determine whether he has to miss a game.

“We’re not going to rule anything out right now,” coach Joe Judge said Wednesday morning. “Daniel is going to be out here practicing [Wednesday]. He’ll practice [Thursday] and Friday as well. We’ll see what he can do. … Really, a normal Wednesday for him.”

Jones was believed to be injured while running the football Sunday on the second play. He said there wasn’t really soreness until after the game. Judge didn’t know about the injury until the team put together its postgame injury report on Monday.

Jones, 24, underwent tests and treatment the past two days. After an initial scare, he is improving.

“Feeling good. Getting better every day,” Jones said. “Trying to listen to what the doctors and trainers are telling me. But I’m doing good.”

This could be the third straight season that Jones has been forced to miss a game late in the season. He had a high ankle sprain as a rookie, a hamstring injury last season and now there is the concern with his neck.

Jones never seemed to think this would be a long-term problem. The Giants play the following week in Los Angeles against the Chargers.

“I think there are obviously a series of tests and conversations with doctors and I always understood it to be something I can recover from and get back out there,” he said.

Not much will change for Jones this week. He will technically be a noncontact participant in practice, but that is not much different than every other week when nobody is allowed to hit the quarterback. He is expected to be listed as limited.

This latest injury only highlights the difficulty of being a mobile quarterback and remaining healthy for the duration of what is now a 17-game season. Jones earlier suffered a concussion that forced him to miss the second half against the Dallas Cowboys while trying to run the ball into the end zone. This time, Jones was running the zone-read and was hit near the neck/head following an awkward slide.

“I think it can be [difficult]. I can definitely … something I’ve been focused on this season is to do that and to get down and avoid some of those hits,” Jones said. “Just have to continue to do that. It can be tough at times but it’s something you have to be able to do.”

Jones has completed 63.4% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He’s 25th in the NFL with a QBR of 40.9.

The third-year quarterback has rushed for 298 yards and two touchdowns.

Glennon, 31, went 16-of-25 passing for 196 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in (mostly) the second half of the blowout loss to the Cowboys. His last win as a starting quarterback came during the 2017 season with the Chicago Bears.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown expected to miss at least two more weeks

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TAMPA, Fla. — Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown is expected to remain sidelined for at least two more weeks, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brown has been out since suffering an ankle injury in Week 6 at the Philadelphia Eagles, but Wednesday, coach Bruce Arians said the wide receiver is actually dealing with a different injury than initially thought.

Arians had said Wednesday the seven-time Pro Bowler, who led the NFL in receiving yards in 2014 and 2017 and receptions in 2014 and 2015, is doubtful to play this week at the Atlanta Falcons.

“It was more a different injury than originally thought,” Arians said. “A sprain. There’s some issues in the heel — that’s what he’s having problems with.”

It’s a different tune from the one Arians had on SiriusXM NFL Radio last week, when he said, “I’ve got my fingers crossed for hopefully next week against [Atlanta].”

When asked, in hindsight, if the Bucs had known the extent of the injury, whether they would have placed him on injured reserve, which would have put him out for three weeks, Arians said, “Possibly.”

Schefter reported that doctors initially expected it to be a six-week recovery. But this week would mark the sixth week that he’s been ruled out since suffering the injury. Brown also missed the Bucs’ Week 3 game at the Los Angeles Rams due to COVID-19.

In five games this season, Brown’s had 29 catches for 418 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

Last year, Brown had 93 receiving yards and a touchdown at the Falcons in Week 15, which marked a turning point in the Bucs’ season, when they overcame a 24-7 deficit. Brown’s 46-yard touchdown sealed a 31-27 victory, marking the fourth time in quarterback Tom Brady’s career that he won after trailing by 17 or more points at halftime.

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NFL to air first public service announcement on responsible betting during Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints game

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The NFL will air its first public service announcement on sports betting during the Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints game Thursday night.

The straightforward 30-second PSA features retired coach Steve Mariucci emphasizing the NFL’s core message on responsible gambling: “Stick to your game plan. Always bet responsibly.”

“Getting the tone where you’ll get people’s attention, so it’s not just lost in the flow of TV ads, but also having a clear, supportive tone was important,” Chris Halpin, NFL chief strategy and growth officer, who is overseeing the league’s approach to sports betting, told ESPN.

Halpin said, to start, the PSA will air once during game broadcasts, but the frequency could vary, and new versions will be introduced ahead of the playoffs. It has not been determined whether a responsible gambling PSA will air during the Super Bowl.

The in-game PSAs are part of the NFL’s overarching initiative to build a safer sports betting ecosystem in the U.S. In October, the league announced a $6.2 million, three-year partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling. It’s the largest grant ever for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that was founded in 1972. The partnership includes operation of ResponsiblePlay.org, a website the NFL encourages bettors to visit to learn about responsible betting and problem gambling.

This is the first NFL season in which commercials for sportsbooks have aired during games. The NFL put a cap of six sports betting ads per game, and Halpin said the response from fans to the commercials so far has been “neutral.”

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