By Nick Shook
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Dallas got a scare, and will be without Tyron Smith in Week 17. But that’s the worst of the news.
Smith suffered an MCL sprain after getting cut down at the knee in the Cowboys‘ win over the Lions on Monday night, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Smith will miss a week, but will be ready in time for the playoffs.
A collective sigh of relief could almost be heard coming from the Cowboys‘ headquarters on Tuesday, as Smith is the crown jewel of the league’s best offensive line. Week 17 is meaningless for Dallas, and with a first-round bye on deck, Smith will have just the right amount of time to get as close to 100 percent as he can before the Cowboys‘ divisional round contest.
The same can’t be said for the Week 17 fate of Luke Kuechly, but as Cam Newton pointed out, it could be for the best for the star linebacker. Kuechly will not play in the Panthers‘ season finale in a campaign that was lost mathematically only recently, but mentally long ago. The linebacker cleared concussion protocol, but hasn’t and will not return during the 2016 season.
Other injuries we’re tracking on Tuesday of Week 17:
1. Tampa Bay placed tight end Cameron Brate on injured reserve with a back injury, the team announced.
4. Melvin Gordon (knee, hip) said he will probably be a gametime decision for San Diego’s season finale against Kansas City.