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NFL Odds: Week 3 Injury Roundup

Last week the Dallas Cowboys felt the wrath of the new-look, new-attitude Kansas City Chiefs defense. The Pokes dropped to 1-1, and will host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday with hopes of having key members on both sides of the ball on the field. Receiver Dez Bryant insists he will play against St. Louis after battling back spasms, while defensive end Anthony Spencer is dealing with soreness in his repaired left knee.

Bryant, who reportedly had spasms after getting hit in the back in the first quarter last weekend against Kansas City, missed the first practice this past week but progressed to full participation by Friday and declared himself "ready to roll" for the Rams. Spencer, who had arthroscopic knee surgery July 25 and missed all of training camp and the preseason, played for the first time this season against the Chiefs but then missed two of three practices this past week.

Bryant is listed as probable along with quarterback Tony Romo (ribs), cornerback Morris Claiborne (shoulder) and defensive end DeMarcus Ware (neck). Spencer is listed as questionable. The Cowboys are currently 4-point favorites at Bovada.

The New York Giants and Carolina Panthers meet in a crucial NFC game that will send one of these two to 0-3, and possibly salvage the other for a playoff run, by improving to 1-2.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, starting cornerback Josh Thomas will not play Sunday, after being listed as questionable on the team's initial injury report disseminated on Friday. Thomas, who has recorded 9 tackles (6 solo and 3 assisted) for Carolina this season, met with independent physicians later in the afternoon and it was determined he cannot play. Either Drayton Florence or Josh Norman will start in place of Thomas, opposite Captain Munnerlyn, at cornerback.

Thomas' injury is another blow to a secondary that already lost veterans Charles Godrey and Quintin Mikell, who were both ruled out with injuries. Rookie safety Robert Lester, who started 40 games at Alabama and helped the Crimson Tide to three BCS national championships, was named the starter on Thursday. Carolina opened a 2.5-point favorite, but the Giants are now laying -1 to the Panthers.