This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.
With Turkey Day approaching, multiple teams taking part in the three Thanksgiving Day games find themselves facing difficult injury situations.
Amari Cooper did not play in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs after testing positive COVID-19. The Pro Bowl wideout is not vaccinated, meaning he is required to quarantine for 10 consecutive days. As a result, he will not be eligible to play in Dallas' Thursday matchup with Las Vegas. The Cowboys depth at wide receiver could be further tested if second-year pro CeeDee Lamb is unable to complete the league's mandated concussion protocol. Lamb suffered the head injury on Dallas' final play of the first half when his head hit the turf. He was ruled out of the game and must now clear a five-step return-to-participation process before he can play against the Raiders.
To start, any player diagnosed with a concussion is not allowed to perform any activities until he is symptom-free. Once the symptoms have subsided, the injured athlete can resume light exercise but is not allowed to return to football-specific activities. If he remains symptom-free following the increase in activity, he can gradually buildup of his level of participation, beginning with basic strength training before moving on to controlled, noncontact football activities. Progression to each activity is predicated on the athlete remaining symptom-free. Should the injured athlete report any sort of symptom, whether it be sensitivity to light or a headache, he cannot move on to the next level of the protocol. If a symptom-free player