Cowboys coach Paul Green hopes his players turn their concerns over the health of club great Matt Scott into a strong performance against the Panthers on Thursday night.
With Scott still in a Brisbane hospital after suffering a mild stroke on Sunday, Green said his players were dealing with the situation on an individual basis.
"The players deal with it in their own way, at the time we were all a little bit shocked by it but training's been pretty good since then," he said.
"I'd like to think that some players might find a bit of motivation out of that, but whether or not that happens, we won't know until the game tomorrow night."
Green did not provide a timeframe as to when Scott would be released from hospital and return to Townsville.
In less serious health news, Jason Taumalolo was included in the Cowboys' starting 13 on Thursday night with Green saying the Tongan star was dealing with a plantar fasciitis complaint.
Cowboys v Panthers - Round 23
After naming Taumalolo on the reserves list on Tuesday, Green remained non-committal as to whether his star lock would face the Panthers on Thursday before promoting him to the starting side at lock 24 hours before kick-off.
"He trained today but we're not going to take any silly risks with him either, so we'll see how he pulls up," Green said.
"It's a torn plantar fascia which is the tendon that goes under your foot. It's not completely torn, it's just partial.
"They're pretty painful. It's more about whether or not you can manage the pain, they can vary in length on how long they take to heal."
The Cowboys will look to arrest a five-game losing streak on Friday night when they host the Panthers.