Week 8 Final injury report: Dalton out for Cowboys; Looney, Lee back but no Awuzie

Asa Henry
·5 min read

Both the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles have battled through numerous injuries to key players so far this season, so it’s only fitting the latest health updates are set to lay a big factor in Sunday night’s showdown in Philadelphia.

As expected, the Cowboys ruled quarterback Andy Dalton out for Sunday’s game, meaning rookie Ben DiNucci will get his first start. Dallas also activated linebacker Sean Lee and offensive lineman Joe Looney from the injured reserve to the active roster, meaning Lee is set to make his season debut Sunday in Philadelphia.

Lee (sports hernia) returns to a linebacker group that has disappointed in 2020. Leighton Vander Esch just recently returned to the roster after missing most of the season so far with a broken collarbone, and Jaylon Smith, despite his high tackle numbers, hasn’t played up to his potential either. Lee’s best days are well behind him, but the savvy veteran should be a an important depth piece as he is still one of the most intelligent and studious players in the whole league.

Looney played both center and guard for Dallas before a knee injury landed him on the short-term IR. The Cowboys offensive line has struggled to find any continuity, and has shuffled numerous times out of necessity. Like Lee, Looney isn’t necessarily a game changer these days, but his experience, both in the NFL and in the Dallas system, should allow him to be a steady and versatile piece on an otherwise unproven offensive line (besides Zack Martin, of course).

Reports were that cornerback Chidobe Awuzie could be ready to travel to Philly, but it looks like the fourth year corner needs just a little more time to heal from his hamstring injury. DB Savion Smith was promoted from the practice squad to the game day roster.

While Dallas still has a number of contributors on the IR, almost all of the active roster was able to practice in full this week.

Quarterback Andy Dalton did not participate in a single pracrice, or clear the NFL’s concussion protocol, and he is out for Sunday’s game. In his place, seventh-round rookie QB Ben DiNucci is set to make his first career start, and there is some reason to be intrigued by DiNucci as a Cowboy fan.

Zack Martin missed late week’s loss to Washington with a concussion, but the perennial All-Pro guard was able to practice in full multiple times this week, and is good to go for the big divisional matchup.

Safety Xavier Woods missed Wednesday’s practice for non-injury related reasons, but was another full participant at practice the following days, and his status is not in question.

Punter Chris Jones was a late addition to the injury report, as an abdomen issue limited him in Friday’s practice. The Cowboys didn’t list Jones with a questionable or game-time decision label, meaning he too should play barring any surprises.

Eagles fans will be thrilled to learn who they have returning from the IR just in time to face the Cowboys.

Three crucial components of the Philadelphia offense, tackle Jason Peters, wide receiver Jalen Reagor, and tight end Dallas Goedert are all set to return to the active roster this week. The team noted that linebacker T.J. Edwards and safety Rudy Ford are being activated from the IR as well.

Linebacker Nathan Gerry and defensive lineman Genard Avery were both moved onto the Philadelphia injured reserve.

As far as the rest of the Eagles squad, there are a handful of impactful injury designations.

T Jack Driscoll, CB Craig James, WR Alshon Jeffrey, CB Cre’von Leblanc, and RB Miles Sanders are all officially out for Week 8.

T Lane Johnson, DE Vinny Curry, DT Malik Jackson, and S K’von Wallace were all listed on the injury report, but all were able to practice in full, and should be suiting up on Sunday.

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