Update: David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports Brandin Cooks is dealing with a Grade 1 MCL sprain and his status for Week 2 is "in question." Our original story follows below:
The Dallas Cowboys are already managing a few injuries to key contributors to begin the 2023 season. On Wednesday, wide receiver Brandin Cooks gave fans a new player to worry about after he popped up as an estimated DNP due to a knee issue.
Many were hoping this was a simple vet day for the experienced pass-catcher, but it turns out the reality is much more concerning.
Brandin Cooks Injury Update
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday that Cook is dealing with a sprained MCL. That suddenly vaults this from something to watch to a legitimate threat that Dallas has to manage.
Sprains to any key ligament are always worrisome, especially considering they often require a tear of some sort to take place. The severity of the injury also determines the recovery time; lower grades may not require any missed games or just a few, while a Grade 3 sprain can take six weeks (or even longer) to properly heal.
So far, we don't know where Cooks' issue is on the scale. However, everything from the Cowboys has been pretty optimistic. The receiver himself said "I feel good" when addressing his health on Wednesday, and head coach Mike McCarthy claimed Thursday that Cooks has "improved" already.
Reading the tea leaves, Cooks may be at the lowest grade on the scale if he's expected to do some light practice work. If it was more severe, you'd expect the veteran to be sidelined and the team not risk anything.
Thursday's post-practice injury report will give us some clarity on the situation. It seems possible that Cooks is limited through the rest of the week and earns a questionable tag for Sunday's game against the New York Jets, though it could come to down simple pain tolerance.
If Cooks is sidelined, that could clear the way for seventh-round pick Jalen Brooks to make his NFL debut after being inactive in Week 1. Meanwhile, CeeDee Lamb would then be in a familiar spot as the clear top target, with Michael Gallup, Jalen Tolbert and Dallas' tight end trio pitching in.
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