FRISCO - "I wasn't feeling like myself.''
And maybe those words, as much as any attempts to pass through last week's five-step concussion protocol process, tell the story of while Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb sat out last week's loss to the Raiders.
He wanted to play. But the NFL doctor made the right call. He shouldn't have played.
"A head injury is nothing to play with," said Lamb, who was ruled out on Wednesday night, in a move announced the next morning. "Obviously, I wanted to be in there. I wasn't feeling like myself, kind of something still lingering around. I couldn't describe what it was and I knew at that moment that I wasn't mentally nor physically prepared."
Lamb, who practiced for the Cowboys on Monday, said he will be back for the Week 13 matchup on Thursday against the New Orleans Saints.
Lamb has actually missed the last six quarters for the Cowboys as he suffered a concussion in the loss at Kansas City on Nov. 21.
"I hit my head pretty hard,'' said Lamb, recalling the first-half play that saw the back of his head bang against the end-zone turf. "It was kind of ringing as soon as the hit happened. It was tough. I tried to get up. I kind of laid there for a second and tried to get myself right or whatever.
"But I knew something was wrong just off the impact, and just the pressure of my head, it wasn’t feeling right.''
Lamb, who is leading the Cowboys in catches (50), receiving yards (740) and TD receptions (six), was forced to miss the Raiders game, as was Amari Cooper (COVID). Both are planning to play for the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys on Thursday. But as we have reported, that's not yet a done deal for Cooper, as Lamb noted.
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“Having him back from COVID is obviously huge and have him play on the field with us making crazy plays and crazy stuff that he’s done to this point, we miss it,'' said Lamb, obviously aware that Cooper did not practice on Monday as he awaits clearance. "If he’s able to come back this week, that’s perfect. If not, we’re praying for him and can’t wait to see him next week.''
The Cowboys, 7-4, are dealing with an array of issues beyond just having lost three of their last four - including head coach Mike McCarthy on Monday going into the COVID protocol, meaning he'll miss the New Orleans game. (The coaching plan, here.)
Said Lamb: "Losing coach McCarthy to COVID in an important week ... is tough. So, I’m praying for his family, I’m praying for him, and I hope he gets back on the sidelines with us as soon as possible.”
Dallas won't have its coach. But having Lamb might be the difference in getting the ship righted again.
"Just mentally getting myself right and prepared for the game,'' Lamb said, "it was tough. I feel a lot better. I feel a lot better obviously than I did last week, but it felt like the longest week of my life, for sure.''
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