Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb, Damontae Kazee, Carlos Watkins coming off reserve/COVID list

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are activating wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, safety Damontae Kazee and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins from the reserve/COVID-19 list, coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Thursday.

Watkins was sent home before the Cowboys' third preseason game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 21, while Lamb and Kazee were placed on the reserve list Aug. 24. For a vaccinated player to return to a team's facility, he must have two straight negative tests separated by 24 hours.

Guard Connor Williams and wide receiver Noah Brown remain on the COVID list ahead of the Cowboys' opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Thursday. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn returned to The Star on Monday after his bout with COVID.

Lamb has not taken part in a full practice with quarterback Dak Prescott since the Cowboys returned from Oxnard, California, in the middle of August. Last week, Prescott took part in team drills for the first time since July 27 and will do so this week as the Cowboys return to practice following a mandatory three-day break.

Coach Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys will do what they can to speed up the chemistry between Lamb and Prescott.

"We'll have a competitive period, at least one each day," McCarthy said. "I do want to get that going to help guys who haven't had any reps here of late."

Kazee is a projected starter, while Watkins is expected to be a big part of the defensive line rotation.

The Cowboys are also placing defensive tackle Neville Gallimore (elbow), tight end Sean McKeon (ankle), offensive tackle Josh Ball (ankle), cornerback Kelvin Joseph (groin), wide receiver Malik Turner (foot) and linebacker Frances Bernard (hamstring) on injured reserve, McCarthy said. They will miss at least the first three games of the season.