Why isn’t Cowboys’ Amari Cooper playing on Thanksgiving vs. the Raiders?

Dak Prescott will be without at least one of his favorite targets on Turkey Day.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper will be absent on the field, the second consecutive game that Cooper will miss as he’s currently sidelined due to the NFL’s coronavirus protocols. 

In nine games, Cooper has grabbed 44 passes for 583 yards as part of the Cowboys’ potent passing attack, his fourth season in Dallas after being traded from the Raiders in 2018.

Now, he’ll spend his potential Thanksgiving revenge game away from the gridiron and away from the Cowboys at large. Here’s why:

MORE: Michael Irvin criticizes Amari Cooper for COVID vaccine decision

Why isn’t Amari Cooper playing on Thanksgiving?

On Nov. 19, Cooper was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, forcing him to miss the Cowboys’ Week 11 matchup vs. the Chiefs and also their Week 12 Thanksgiving matchup with the Raiders.

Cooper, who is unvaccinated, must remain quarantined for 10 days before he can potentially return to the team. He may potentially return to the field for Dallas’ Week 13 matchup vs. the Saints.

The NFL’s COVID-19 guidelines for unvaccinated players require them to miss a minimum of 10 days, and must be asymptomatic and test negative twice, 24-hours apart before being eligible to return to the field.

Players who have received the coronavirus vaccine must test negative twice within a 24-hour span and remain asymptomatic, as well, but are not subjected to any kind of mandatory quarantine process.

MORE: Dak Prescott defends Amari Cooper’s COVID vaccine decision

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott stood by WR Amari Cooper, saying he believes most players who contract COVID-19 — vaccinated or unvaccinated — miss 10 days. “That’s my teammate. That’s my brother. I’m going to continue to back him and support him. This is everybody’s personal decision.”  https://livesportsy.com/nfl/

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 22, 2021

Alongside Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, Cooper plays a massive role in the Cowboys passing attack, and was on pace to crack the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth-straight season before being placed on the COVID list.

Heading into the Thanksgiving matchup vs. the Raiders, the Cowboys may also be without second-year wideout Lamb, who entered concussion protocol in the second quarter of the Chiefs-Cowboys matchup on Sunday.

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