Dallas Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith is a man of few words and needed just one on Wednesday to address his playing status for Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Asked he expected to play after missing the past two games with a groin injury, Smith simply said: “Yeah.”
That would be a boost for a Cowboys team that has clearly missed Smith the past two weeks. Without him, the Cowboys have suffered 20-point losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.
Chaz Green replaced Smith in the Falcons game, and was beaten badly by Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn for four sacks. Against the Eagles, veteran Byron Bell fared better in Smith’s spot.
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Smith has missed multiple games in each of the past two seasons. He had started 55 straight games before sitting out Weeks 3 and 4 last season with back issues and has been sidelined the two games this season with a groin injury.
Smith is officially listed as questionable for the Thanksgiving Day game. So is right tackle La’el Collins, who is dealing with back issues. Bell took first-team reps at right tackle in place of Collins this week.
The Cowboys have also listed linebacker Anthony Hitchens (groin) and kicker Dan Bailey (groin) as questionable, although both Hitchens and Bailey expressed optimism about playing this week.
Defensive tackle Maliek Collins (foot) is questionable, too, but has managed to play through his injury in recent weeks. The only player who is officially out for the Cowboys is linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring).
Safety Jeff Heath (concussion), defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) and tight end Geoff Swaim (knee) are all expected to play.