The Dallas Cowboys received a scare when defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was carted off the practice field on Tuesday with an ankle injury.
Avoiding major injury is likely the top priority across every NFL training camp this time of year. It’s the main reason star players watch from the sidelines for the majority of preseason games. So when an important member of a team is seen writhing on the ground in pain, it’s scary.
That was the scene at the Dallas Cowboys training camp late Tuesday, as veteran defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford appeared to seriously injured his ankle after stepping on the back of the foot of running back Ezekiel Elliott during the final ten minutes of practice.
As Crawford was carted off the field, the Cowboys defensive line gathered together to pray for their leader, fearing the worse. The worse meaning his season could be over before it’s even started.
According to Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com, the early diagnosis of Crawford’s injury was a lateral right ankle sprain and not a fracture. Although there may not be a break of the bone, some ligament damage is still possible.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is now reporting that Crawford has apparently avoided serious injury, according to a source.
Dallas plays their final preseason game on Thursday, August 31st against the Houston Texans. Week One of the 2017 NFL regular season kicks off for the Cowboys, Sunday, September 10th in an opening matchup against their NFC East rivals, the New York Giants. That gives Crawford just over four weeks to recover from this latest injury in order to play in the opener.
Last season, Crawford recorded 28 total tackles, 4.5 sacks in 14 games. But the 27-year old also had to deal with a string of injuries, the biggest being to his shoulders. This offseason, Crawford had shoulder surgery for the second straight year. Last offseason, it was to repair a torn right rotator cuff. This year’s operation was on his left shoulder.
Tyrone Crawford has struggled to live up to lofty expectations after he signed a massive six-year, $45.6 million deal two years ago. And his injuries continue to pile up. Without the versatile Crawford in the lineup, the Dallas Cowboys will lean on unproven, young defensive lineman like Charles Tapper, Taco Charlton and Lewis Neal to pick up the slack.