Cowboys scrambling as injuries decimate OL

By SCHUYLER DIXON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-02 18:31

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys are suddenly so thin on the offensive line, they grabbed a player who lives 10 minutes from training camp in California.

Good thing they at least had James Nelson in rookie camp in May, even if they decided not to sign him then. Funny what a little personnel emergency can do for someone who went to high school in nearby Ventura after finishing his college career at Texas-El Paso.

``They called and asked, `Hey, are you in Oxnard,''' said Nelson. ``I said, `Yeah.'''

Nelson will be in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday night, and should play in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame game against Miami - three days after he signed. He says coaches told him to expect to play in the fourth quarter.

It would probably be even earlier if Nelson played guard. The Cowboys don't have many healthy ones after starter Nate Livings underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee for the second time in six months on Friday.

Livings had recurring problems with the knee about the same time Kevin Kowalski, a backup, was sidelined with a bruised knee.

Dallas even lost a guard they signed along with Nelson on Thursday. Jeff Olson, a rookie from TCU, sustained a possible concussion in his first workout and his return was uncertain.

It's unlikely Kowalski will return before the end of camp. Livings, who missed the first week of camp with a cut on his foot, may not be ready for the season opener Sept. 8 against the New York Giants.

``We don't think it was too severe,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ``We just want to clear that thing up. It's very early. Better to address those things right now and give those guys a chance to be ready for the start of the season.''

There was a bit of good news Friday with the return of Mackenzy Bernadeau, the other starting guard. He has missed all of camp after straining a hamstring in the pre-camp conditioning test.

Garrett and Bernadeau said the guard's return had nothing to do with the dire circumstances at his position.

``We play it safe,'' Bernadeau said. ``It's unfortunate that we have had a lot of injuries along the interior line. But I am at a comfort level where I feel all right and I will take some days off afterwards.''

Bernadeau won't play in the opener, but Garrett still hasn't officially said whether quarterback Tony Romo will play. He suggested to the team's flagship radio station a week ago that Romo would sit because the Cowboys have an extra preseason game.

He offered some of the same reasoning Friday when asked whether injuries on the offensive line would keep Romo from playing.

``Typically (starters) don't play a lot in the first preseason game of the four-game preseason schedule,'' Garrett said. ``Certainly the environment you have for any of the players you are playing, you want it to be favorable.''

First-round draft pick Travis Frederick is one of the projected starters who will play. He's been the No. 1 center in every workout with the Cowboys, but he played guard at Wisconsin.

Even with the injuries at guard, Garrett says the plan isn't changing for Frederick, who has been getting work at guard in training camp.

``We anticipate him playing much more center but again we're a little depleted up front,'' Garrett said. ``He does need to get some work at guard at some point.''

There's one other good thing at guard for the Cowboys. Ron Leary, who signed as an undrafted free agent last year despite chronic knee problems, returned to practice this week after dealing with a back issue.

Leary has been working with the first team and might be for a while. And he doesn't care if injuries keep him on the field in the preseason opener longer than normal for a starter.

``If coach says, `Leary you've got the play the whole game,' I'm going to strap it up,'' Leary said. ``I'm going to play the whole game.''

It's not quite that dire for the Cowboys at guard, but it's close.


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL


Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julio JonesOct 13 12:32p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring, toe) is expected to play Thursday, Oct. 15, against the New Orleans Saints, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Josh JohnsonOct 13 12:22p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Colts) was signed to the Buffalo Bills' 53-man roster Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Le'Veon BellOct 13 01:22a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell carried 21 times for 111 yards and the game-winning touchdown with no time left in regulation in Week 5 against the San Diego Chargers [ More ]

Philip RiversOct 13 01:12a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed 35 of his 48 pass attempts for 365 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 5 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Oct. 12.

Antonio GatesOct 13 01:12a

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates posted game highs with nine receptions, 92 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 5 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Oct. 12.

Antonio BrownOct 13 01:12a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown had three receptions for 45 yards in the Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers Monday, Oct. 12. He was targeted six times.

Steve JohnsonOct 12 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Craig Mager, DL Darius Philon, RB Donald Brown, OT King Dunlap, OG Orlando Franklin, WR Stevie Johnson, LB Tourek Williams inactive for Week 5.

B. RoethlisbergerOct 12 07:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared LB Anthony Chickillo, QB Ben Roethlisberger, OG Chris Hubbard, CB Cortez Allen, DL Daniel McCullers, TE Jesse James, LB Ryan Shazier inactive for Week 5.

Julio JonesOct 12 07:02p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring, toe) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 12.

B. RoethlisbergerOct 12 06:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee) wants to play in the Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers have not ruled out the possibility of Roethlisberger playing but consider it a longshot.

Justin ForsettOct 12 06:02p

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) avoided a high-ankle sprain in a Week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Head coach John Harbaugh said Forsett could still play this week.

Jamaal CharlesOct 12 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles' (knee) MRI confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to a source. Charles will likely miss the rest of the season.

Peyton ManningOct 12 05:32p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning won't be benched in favor of QB Brock Osweiler, according to head coach Gary Kubiak. 'No. Peyton is doing just fine.'

S. RichardsonOct 12 04:02p

New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardson was officially added to New York's active roster Monday, Oct. 12. TE Wes Saxton was waived.

Jordan ReedOct 12 03:52p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion, knee, ankle) has shown some improvement but is still going through the concussion protocol, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Joe HadenOct 12 03:52p

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (concussion) is expected to miss Week 6 against the Denver Broncos due to concussion protocol.

Blake BortlesOct 12 03:22p

Updating previous reports, Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' (shoulder) sprained his throwing shoulder Sunday, Oct. 11, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is uncertain if Bortles will be able [ More ]

Josh McCownOct 12 03:12p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (ankle) suffered an ankle sprain in a Week 5 win against the Baltimore Ravens. He is hopeful he'll be able [ More ]

Marques ColstonOct 12 03:02p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston (shoulder) has at least a separated shoulder and could have some structural damage in the shoulder, according to a source. Colston suffered the [ More ]

Antone SmithOct 12 03:02p

Free-agent RB Antone Smith (Falcons) signed with the Chicago Bears Monday, Oct. 12. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Jacquizz RodgersOct 12 02:52p

Chicago Bears RB Jacquizz Rodgers (arm) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct.12, because of a fractured arm.

Dwight FreeneyOct 12 02:32p

Free-agent LB Dwight Freeney (Chargers) signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 12, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Odell Beckham Jr.Oct 12 02:22p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is dealing with a hamstring injury, but the team hopes he will be able to practice on at least a limited [ More ]

Marshawn LynchOct 12 02:02p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) should be able to play in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers if he doesn't suffer any setbacks this week, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Blake BortlesOct 12 02:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) likely will not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 14, but that should not indicate his status for the Week 6 game against the [ More ]

Blake BortlesOct 12 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) suffered a Grade 1 shoulder sprain during the team's Week 5 game and his status will be updated later in the week, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Charcandrick WestOct 12 12:52p

Kansas City Chiefs RBs Charcandrick West and Knile Davis both expect to split carries with RB Jamaal Charles (knee) expected to miss the rest of the season, and head [ More ]

Andrew LuckOct 12 12:52p

Indianapolis Colts QBs Andrew Luck (shoulder) and Matt Hasselbeck (illness) both practiced in full Monday, Oct. 12, according to head coach Chuck Pagano. Luck missed the last two weeks [ More ]

Matthew StaffordOct 12 11:22a

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford will remain the starting quarterback, despite being benched in Week 5 Sunday, Oct. 11.

Josh JohnsonOct 12 11:12a

Indianapolis Colts QB Josh Johnson was released Monday, Oct. 12.

Dez BryantOct 12 10:22a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (foot) had bone marrow stem cells removed from his hip and injected into his ankle last week to help improve the healing process. The [ More ]

Matt CasselOct 12 02:02a

Dallas Cowboys QB Matt Cassel could get a chance in Week 7 after the team's bye, as head coach Jason Garrett said Sunday, Oct. 11, he will evaluate a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group