The Dallas Cowboys will host the Los Angeles Chargers tomorrow for their annual Thanksgiving Day game. As always with Thursday games, the short week presents some extra challenges for teams in terms of the health and availability of their players.
The final practice reports are now in for both Dallas and Los Angeles. Here's a look at their injury issues for tomorrow's game.
- OT Tyron Smith (back/foot) – Questionable
- OT La'el Collins (back) – Questionable
- DT Maliek Collins (foot) – Questionable
- LB Sean Lee (hamstring) – OUT
- LB Anthony Hitchens (groin) – Questionable
- K Dan Bailey (groin) – Questionable
On the positive front, safety Jeff Heath and tight end Geoff Swaim were both full participants after dealing with injuries in previous weeks. Heath missed last Sunday's game with ongoing concussion issues. DeMarcus Lawrence was limited in Monday's practice with a shoulder issue but participated fully yesterday and today.
Sean Lee will miss another game with his hamstring injury. Dallas' defense continues to struggle with Lee's presence, but at least they shouldn't also be without Anthony Hitchens. Though listed as questionable, Hitchens appears ready to play tomorrow after a good report from his MRI and no major injury to his groin.
Tyron Smith may also return tomorrow, though nothing is yet confirmed. Byron Bell was a major improvement from Chaz Green last week and would get the start if Tyron can't go. It's a little concerning that La'el Collins has now shown up on the injury report with his own back issues, but there's no indication he will miss the game.
There is talk that Dan Bailey could make his return after several weeks. It will be interesting to see if Dallas hangs on to Mike Nugent, perhaps even keeping him active, just in case Bailey has a setback.
Los Angeles Chargers
- WR Travis Benjamin (abdomen) – Questionable
- WR Mike Williams (knee) – Questionable
- OT Russell Okung (knee) – Questionable
- DT Corey Liuget (toe) – Questionable
- LB James Onwualu (quad) – Questionable
Since most of us probably aren't too familiar with the happenings of the Chargers, here's a quick recap of their key players on injured reserve. Veteran guard/center Matt Slauson and second-round pick Forrest Lamp both had season-ending injuries. Both likely would have been offensive line starters this week if healthy. Also, cornerback Jason Verrett was injured in week one and lost for the year.
Of the active roster, nobody is ruled out for tomorrow. Rotation receivers Travis Benjamin and Mike WIlliams were both limited. Starting left tackle Russell Okung is dealing with a knee issue. Defensive standout Corey Liuget and backup linebacker James Onwualu are also dinged up. All five players participated in practices this week but were limited.