The on the field headlines out of Cowboys camp have centered Jason Wittens spleen, Miles Austins hamstring and Dez Bryants ankle. No doubt those receivers are incredibly important to what Dallas is hoping to do offensively this year, but theconcern focused their way has perhaps taken awayattention from the real issue: those big guys up front.Last week after Dallas faced Oakland in the preseason, the Cowboys blog Blue Star crafted a headline, Offensive line is as bad as advertised. Ouch. Outside of stud left tackle Tyron Smith, little is settled or at least not steady among Tony Romos blockers. For starters, the injuries extend beyond those well-known skill players. Starting guard and ex-Bengal Nate Livings, signed as a free agent this offseason, is just now back from a hamstring injury while center Phil Costa (back) is expected to miss his third straight preseason game. As for the tackles, Smith and Doug Free, Blue Star wrote this:Doug Free didn't look any better at right tackle than he did when he was on the other side of the line last season. Tyron Smith was the only starter who doesn't need to step up his game, although we're starting to wonder if he's as good as he looks or if he's just the prettiest belle at a ball full of uglier options. Double ouch. Smith and Free flopped sides of the line this offseason.The Cowboys wont be able to ease into the regular season as they face the pass-rushing New York Giants in the season opener.Witten, who suffered a lacerated spleen during a preseason game, is said to be improving, but his status for the start of the regular season remains uncertain. There is a sense season-ending surgery is not in the forecast for the rugged tight end, who has not missed a regular season game since 2003.Owner Jerry Jones has stated he expects Austin back for the Giants game, but not before. Austin missed preseason games and six regular season games last season due to multiple hamstring injuries so the bubble wrap plan is in effect.Speaking of injuries, the Cowboys SBNation blog, appropriately called Blogging the Boys, notes only of the Cowboy rookies has avoided missing practice due to injury this training camp. First-round pickMorris Claiborne is projected as the starting corner opposite Brandon Carr while nickelback Mike Jenkins remains sidelined. Following Laurent Robinsons departure this offseason, the Cowboys had serious question marks at receiver beyond Austin and Bryant. The stunner is that Cole Beasley, a 5-foot-8, undrafted rookie appears poised to fill the void. One thing the Redskins and Cowboys might have in common this year: unearthing finds out of the SMU football program. While cornerback and returner Richard Crawford has turned heads in Ashburn, Cole Beasley has done the same in Cowboys camp, rising from deep reserve to starting slot receiver.
WR Josh Doctson (Achilles)—While they wanted to wait until after the bye week to make this determination they sent the top draft pick to some more specialists and the decision was made to put him on the shelf. Jay Gruden said that he could return later in the season. The earliest he could do so would be Week 15.
TE Jordan Reed (concussion)—The star tight end had symptoms after the Ravens game and it was determined that he has a concussion. This week he did get to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday but he was not on the field Thursday or Friday. This will be the second game missed for Reed.
WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder)—He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday but he practiced on Friday and Gruden said “he ran around pretty good”. Both Jackson and Gruden seem to be confident that he will play but that remains to be seen.
Not on injury report
LB Su’a Cravens (concussion)—He entered the concussion protocol immediately after the Browns game. The rookie was a full go in practice on Thursday and Friday and Gruden said that “he’s good to go” after missing two games.
- TE Eric Ebron (ankle/knee)
- LB DeAndre Levy (knee/quad)
- DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder)
- RB Theo Riddick (ankle)
- T Corey Robinson (ankle)
- DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle)
- G Larry Warford (groin)
- RB Dwayne Washington (ankle)
- LB Tahir Whitehead (abdomen)
When the Redskins drafted Josh Doctson No. 22 overall, the idea was the rookie receiver out of TCU would push DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon for snaps and catches. An Achilles injury limited Doctson's ability to hit the field, and now has landed the receiver on the injured reserve list.
Washington coach Jay Gruden announced the move to IR on Friday and said "It's best for him. For his state of mind it's important to get this thing fixed."
Doctson opened training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and did not play in the preseason. He did not open the regular season on the IR, however, and played in the Redskins first two games against the Steelers and Cowboys, both losses.
From there, Doctson was inactive for four weeks before landing on the IR.
"I feel terrible for Josh," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said.
Moving Doctson to the IR had been discussed for a few weeks as his Achilles injury did not seem to improve, but Gruden and the Redskins front office wanted to wait and see if the rookie could rebound from the injury. A myriad of tests have been done on the affected area and did not reveal damage, so the cause of Doctson's pain remains unknown.
Expect much more information on Doctson and what it means for the Redskins receiving group to come.
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