Cowboys' league-worst defense scrambling at LB

By SCHUYLER DIXON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-19 02:08

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Bruce Carter was benched for a game over spotty play early in the season. Now it's hard to tell what the Dallas Cowboys would do without him at linebacker.

Carter's return to practice Wednesday after missing the loss to Green Bay with a hamstring injury was good news for the NFL's worst defense.

Sean Lee is probably out Sunday against Washington with a neck sprain. Justin Durant's season is over because of a hamstring injury.

Ernie Sims isn't practicing because of a hip and groin problem.

Among the replacements, Kyle Wilber is the only one who has started a game. And he began the season as a defensive end.

''We don't know who is going to be available to us this week, so we'll play that out first and foremost,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ''The big thing we try to do is make sure we have all of the contingency plans in place.''

DeVonte Holloman, a rookie sixth-round pick, played the most snaps among linebackers against the Packers in his first game in two months. He had been sidelined by a neck injury.

The top four linebackers - Lee, Carter, Durant and Sims - were all out in the second half, when Green Bay scored touchdowns on five straight possessions to rally for a 37-36 win after trailing 26-3 at halftime.

The Cowboys have already surpassed last season's franchise record for yards allowed with two games remaining. But they can still end a three-year playoff drought by winning their last two.

Dallas couldn't do it last season with a decimated crew of linebackers - unable to stop Drew Brees' passing and Albert Morris' running in the final two losses.

''You can't be discouraged,'' cornerback Brandon Carr said. ''You can't lose confidence. You can't even worry about what happened yesterday. It's all about today.''

Carter will call the defensive signals if Lee doesn't play. He's actually been more effective when he's had to take over Lee's leadership role, and now he's surrounded by four players with combined totals of 47 games and five starts.

''I just want to go in there and get everybody lined up,'' Carter said. ''I think once we can get everybody lined up and get into position where we need to be, I think things will kind of fall into place and it'll flow a lot better.''

One of the replacements is Orie Lemon, who has been on and off the Dallas roster since signing as an undrafted free agent two years ago. He was cut by the Cowboys on Saturday and re-signed Tuesday.

''We don't know who's going to be there or not be there, but it's a concern,'' defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. ''We ain't going to pout around. We'll be ready to play.''

NOTES: Besides Lee and Sims, the Cowboys were missing starting DEs DeMarcus Ware and George Selvie in practice. Both are dealing with back issues. ... CB Morris Claiborne said he will miss his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury. His return was slowed because he was away from the team after the death of his father and the birth of his child. ... The Cowboys signed kick-return specialist Micheal Spurlock with Dwayne Harris (hamstring) expected to miss the Washington game and Terrance Williams also slowed by a hamstring issue. ... Dallas signed DT Frank Kearse off Tennessee's practice squad and added LB Jonathan Stewart to its practice squad.



AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org


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

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Chris JohnsonDec 1 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) could be out six to eight weeks with a broken tibia, according to sources.

Case KeenumNov 30 07:53p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) is still being evaluated for a concussion but is likely to be on the practice field in some capacity Wednesday, Dec. 2, [ More ]

Tyler EifertNov 30 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) underwent tests on his injured neck, but they did not show any structural damage. His status for the Week 13 game against the [ More ]

Marlon BrownNov 30 07:13p

The Baltimore Ravens have declared DT Carl Davis, CB Cassius Vaughn, OT Eugene Monroe, DL Kapron Lewis-Moore, OG Kelechi Osemele, WR Marlon Brown, CB Tray Walker inactive for Week 12.

Andrew HawkinsNov 30 07:13p

The Cleveland Browns have declared WR Andrew Hawkins, CB Don Jones, CB Joe Haden, OG Joel Bitonio, CB Pierre Desir, DL Randy Starks, WR Taylor Gabriel inactive for Week 12.

Chris JohnsonNov 30 06:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) suffered a fractured tibia during the team's Week 12 game and will miss an extended period of time. The team is still waiting [ More ]

Chris HarperNov 30 06:33p

New England Patriots WR Chris Harper was released Monday, Nov. 30.

Jimmy GrahamNov 30 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Nov. 30, and DT A.J. Francis was signed from the practice squad to the active roster [ More ]

Trey WilliamsNov 30 06:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Trey Williams was waived Monday, Nov. 30.

Karlos WilliamsNov 30 06:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams' (shoulder) status for the Week 13 game against the Houston Texans is uncertain at this point. Williams suffered a shoulder injury during the team's Week 12 game.

Rishard MatthewsNov 30 05:13p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins WR Rishard Matthews (ribs) suffered multiple fractured ribs in Week 12 against the New York Jets, according to sources. There is no timetable [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 30 04:53p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (kidney) is still the Colts' starting quarterback and will be under center when he's 100% healthy, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 04:53p

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is not expected to play in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to sources. Gronkowski is likely [ More ]

Peyton ManningNov 30 04:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) will get his walking boot off at some point this week, but there is still not definitive timeline for his return. For now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:33p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's (knee) MRI revealed that he suffered a knee strain in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. He will miss a week at most.

Andre EllingtonNov 30 03:33p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe) suffered a turf toe injury in Week 12, but the severity is unknown at this time.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is week-to-week, and his knee injury is considered more of a bruise than a tear, according to sources.

Allen HurnsNov 30 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (concussion) is going through the concussion protocol but has not been ruled out for the Week 13 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Dan HerronNov 30 01:03p

Indianapolis Colts RB Dan Herron will become the backup to RB Frank Gore with RB Ahmad Bradshaw (wrist) done for the season.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 12:53p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) isn't dealing with any structural damage in his knee, but he still could miss Week 13.

Chase FordNov 30 12:43p

Baltimore Ravens WR Daniel Brown and OG Kaleb Johnson were promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Nov. 30, while WR Chuck Jacobs was released and [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawNov 30 11:53a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (wrist) was placed on Injured Reserve Monday, Nov. 30. RB Zurlon Tipton was signed to the active roster.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 11:33a

Updating earlier reports, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is unlikely to miss more than one game, and may not even miss that, according to sources.

Cortland FinneganNov 30 11:13a

Free-agent CB Cortland Finnegan (Dolphins) signed with the Carolina Panthers Monday, Nov. 30.

Chris JohnsonNov 30 10:23a

Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (knee) has a bone bruise in his knee, but the team is awaiting results of an MRI Monday, Nov. 30, according to general manager Steve Keim.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 09:33a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) will have tests Monday, Nov. 30, but the belief is he suffered no structural damage. His time out is expected to be minimal.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 02:03a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) will have an MRI on his right knee. According to sources, the injury is not considered as bad [ More ]

Brock OsweilerNov 30 01:53a

Denver Broncos QB Brock Osweiler completed 23 of his 42 pass attempts for 270 yards, one touchdown and one interception in an overtime win against the New England Patriots in Week 12.

Ronnie HillmanNov 30 01:53a

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman rushed 14 times for 59 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the New England Patriots. He had one catch for [ More ]

C.J. AndersonNov 30 01:53a

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson rushed 15 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 48-yard score in overtime, in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. [ More ]

Demaryius ThomasNov 30 01:53a

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas was held without a catch until late in the fourth quarter of the Week 12 game against the New England Patriots. While he was [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 30 01:53a

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, finger) posted six receptions for 113 yards in the Week 12 game against the New England Patriots. He was targeted nine times.

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