NFL Network's Jane Slater reported, per a source with knowledge of the situation, that Tyron Smithwill not play Sunday. Byron Bell will start instead, she added.
Smith sat out again on Thursday with a groin and back issues, David Helman of the team's official website reported. The left tackle also missed Wednesday's session after sitting out the Week 10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Smith's continued absence is troubling for a Cowboys offense that was lost without the stalwart blindside blocker. Dak Prescott was sacked eight times last week, including a whopping six times by Adrian Clayborn, who tortured Smith's replacements Chaz Green and Bell. Prescott was hit a career-high 10 times and pressured on 36.8 percent of dropbacks against the Falcons.
Over the past two seasons with Prescott under center, the Cowboys are averaging 1.6 sacks per game allowed in games with Smith in the lineup and 2.5 per tilt in four games without the left tackle.
The Cowboys were optimistic Smith might return to Sunday's pivotal matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Since he can't play this week, Prescott & Co. could struggle to move the ball against a fierce Eagles defensive front.
In other Cowboys injury news, Dez Bryant (knee) returned to practice, while safety Jeff Heath (concussion) sat out.
Here are other injuries we're monitoring on Thursday:
- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell is inactive and will not play tonight against the Tennessee Titans. Mitchell suffered an ankle injury in last week's win over Indianapolis.
- Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (concussion) didn't practice Thursday and, at this point, it looks like he will not play against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, according to Rapoport. Wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle) also didn't practice.
- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery popped up on Thursday's report with an ankle injury. Jeffery has 34 catches for 500 yards and five touchdowns for the 8-1 Eagles this season.
- The Cleveland Browns activated wide receiver Corey Coleman (hand) from injured reserve to the 53-man roster. In a corresponding move, the team waived wide receiver Kasen Williams.
Coleman has not played in a game since he broke his hand in a Week 2 loss to the Ravens. The 2016 first-round pick has 39 receptions for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 12 career games.
In other Browns injury news, quarterback DeShone Kizer (ribs) was a full participant in Thursday's practice. Wide receiverKenny Britt (knee) and running backIsaiah Crowell (shoulder) were each limited in practice.
- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said safety Kam Chancellor (neck) is still undergoing tests and he did not practice. Running back Eddie Lacy (groin) and safety Earl Thomas (hamstring) should both return this week, Carroll added. Both were limited in practice. Left tackle Duane Brown (ankle), who didn't practice, will be a game-time decision.
Defensive tackle Jarran Reed (hamstring) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) also didn't practice.
- New England Patriots wide receivers Chris Hogan (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the team's matchup with the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. Fellow receiver Danny Amendola (knee) and tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) were limited in both practices.
- Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn believes quarterback Philip Rivers (concussion) will play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. He must be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can play again.
- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) was once again limited in practice and wide receiverJohn Brown (back) did not practice.
- Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (concussion) was limited in practice. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (Achilles tendon) sat out practice for a second consecutive day.
- Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (ribs) did not practice for the second consecutive day. Safety Morgan Burnett (groin) also didn't practice and cornerbackKevin King (shoulder) was limited.
- Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (ribs) did not practice again and running back Alfred Blue (hamstring) was limited.
- Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Cordy Glenn (foot, ankle) is still not practicing and tight end Charles Clay (knee), defensive end Jerry Hughes (shin, calf) and wide receiver Jordan Matthews (knee) were limited.
- Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (concussion) sat out practice in preparation for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell (knee) was limited.
- Denver Broncos tight end A.J. Derby (shoulder) didn't practice and wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee, Achilles tendon) was limited.
- Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah(back) and running back*Dwayne Washington* (hip) didn't practice.
- Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) and wide receiver Marquise Lee (knee) were limited in practice.
- Kansas City Chiefs linebackers Dee Ford (back) and Tamba Hali (knee) and wide receiver Albert Wilson (hamstring) each didn't practice.