FRISCO - The COVID Clock is what it is. And Randy Gregory is still being ruled by it.
His Dallas Cowboys will therefore play at the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday's NFL Week 2 matchup without him making the defense substantially short-handed.
Three of the team’s Week 1 defensive starters will be out, a group that includes both starting defensive ends, Gregory (added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the week) and DeMarcus Lawrence (out for two months with a broken foot).
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Additionally, Dallas has problems in the secondary as safety Donovan Wilson has also been ruled out and is not making the trip to L.A. He’s dealing with a groin issue, leaving the Cowboys down yet another defensive player ahead of this meeting with QB Justin Herbert and the Chargers.
Another safety, Damontae Kazee, has a thigh injury but will try to play. Malik Hooker should make his debut and help in the secondary, but the Cowboys are going to need help elsewhere as well - especially at end.
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Lawrence finished with five tackles, including a forced fumble, during Week 1's 31-29 loss at Tampa Bay. Gregory had one tackle and a fumble recovery. Strong safety Wilson did not get tackle, but was credited with a rare hit on QB Tom Brady.
The Chargers, meanwhile, managed to pull out a 20-16 win at the Washington Football Team, with Herbert throwing for 337 yards and a touchdown, while Keenan Allen and Mike Williams combined for 182 yards at the receivers spot.
Dallas will rely on an assortment of pass-rush helpers, including likely new starters Tarell Basham and Dorance Armstrong, along with Bradlee Anae and maybe even linebackers Micah Parsons and Jaylon Smith.
The Cowboys are 3.5-point underdogs in the game, which is set to kick off at 3:25 p.m. CT from L.A.’s SoFi Stadium.
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