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Dallas Cowboys’ Amari Cooper placed on COVID-19 list, out next 2 games

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver Amari Cooper is expected to miss the next two games after being placed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday.

Cooper, who is second on the team in receiving yards, entered the league’s COVID-19 protocols this afternoon per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. Due to the timing of the move, with Dallas playing on Thanksgiving, Cooper is slated to miss Week 11 and Week 12.

  • Amari Cooper stats (2021): 44 receptions, 583 receiving yards and five touchdowns

The 6-foot-1 weapon is a go-to target for MVP candidate Dak Prescott and was expected to play a prominent role in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. According to Pro Football Focus, Cowboys’ quarterbacks have a 125.3 passer rating when targeting Cooper this year.

Who will step up in Amari Cooper’s absence?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

CeeDee Lamb, who leads Dallas in receptions (47), receiving yards (726) and touchdowns (six), will see even more attention from Prescott in Week 11. But he will also draw increased attention from the Chiefs’ defense, putting more emphasis on Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz and Cedrick Wilson to make plays.

Gallup, who just returned from injured reserve, played 22 snaps in Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. The 2018 third-round pick saw five targets, pulling in six catches for 42 receiving yards. He is a safe bet for at least 40 snaps and seven-plus targets on Sunday.

Cedrick Wilson, who has stepped up in the past when other Cowboys’ wide receivers miss time, will also see increased opportunities.

While the Cowboys will be without Amari Cooper, the team will welcome back left tackle Tyron Smith against the Chiefs and La’el Collins will move back to right tackle. Pass protection and a strong performance from Ezekiel Elliott will now be even more crucial for Dallas.