OXNARD, CA – James Washington trailed Trevon Diggs deep and went up for the ball.
He had an injury that would force the Cowboys into the free agent market.
Washington suffered a broken right foot in the team’s first cushioned training session, an injury that typically takes six to ten weeks to recover. The most likely scenario is two people familiar with the severity of the 10-week infection project, which means the recipient won’t be available until mid-October.
Two people familiar with the situation said the Cowboys W.R. James Washington fractured his right foot, as was feared. Next surgery. Dallas will be without Washington and Michael Gallup to start the season. pic.twitter.com/KN7kUXi12y
– Michael Gelken (GehlkenNFL) August 1, 2022
Those close to the situation said WR James Washington will return to Dallas and will have foot surgery tomorrow. A 10-week time frame has been set for his return.
– David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) August 1, 2022
Surgery to repair the fifth metatarsal bone on the side of his foot (Jones’ fracture) is scheduled for Tuesday in Dallas. Washington’s absence deprives the Cowboys of a veteran slated to start opening night and leaves the Reception Corps dangerously weak.
Executive Vice President Stephen Jones released his standard response when asked about adding a free agent in the coming days.
“We’re always looking for upgrades to our slate,” Jones said after confirming Washington’s standing.
Critics asserted that Dallas needed to add another proven receiver to the camp. Amari Cooper trade and Michael Gallop’s injury that left him physically unable to perform on the Cowboys roster appears to be in trouble.
Club officials rejected this idea. Repeatedly. The latest came on Saturday afternoon, when Jerry Jones told a group of reporters that he had no concerns about the situation.
“I feel good about our receivers,” said the owner.
No one in the organization can hold that position now. He also encouraged the Cowboys to rehabilitate Gallup from a torn ACL, even admitting he wouldn’t be ready to face Tampa Bay in the opener. Likely to return in late September or early October.
Washington’s injury has named rookie Galen Tolbert the favorite to start the season with CeeDee Lamb. It also leads the main point about the uncertain nature of this group.
The ten recipients currently on the training camp roster after Lamb have combined for 39 receptions and 425 yards and no touchdowns in their NFL careers. Another note.
All of these belong to Noah Brown.
Options? Odell Beckham Jr. He is the open market’s top receiver, but tore up the AFC Champions League in the Super Bowl behind Gallup on his way back to the field.
Will Fuller is an explosive threat who has wrestled with injuries and inconsistency during his career. He played only two games for Miami last season and finished the season on the list with a broken thumb.
Emmanuel Sanders has a long and impressive resume. He had 42 passes for 626 yards with four touchdowns for Buffalo last season and scored a touchdown for the postseason. The downside: He’s 35 years old.
Cole Beasley will get support on social media from Cowboys fans who appreciate what he has done in his seven seasons with the club. But Dallas is seen strictly as a slot receiver.
The expected role of Washington in this crime is much different.
“I’ll tell you he’s a strong player, he’s a physical player,” Washington coach Mike McCarthy said a few days ago. “I think when you disable the receiver position, it has a lot of release attributes from the detached side. And what you’re talking about is its ability to go in there and extract safes and run cross roads.
“He clearly has vertical speed. So, his vertical torso trajectories are definitely the source of his strength.”
Washington spent the first four years of his NFL career in Pittsburgh. His biggest season came in 2019 when he got 44 passes for 735 yards with three touchdowns.
Its production has dwindled since then. Washington has collected 54 catches and 677 yards over the last two seasons. He has scored seven touchdowns in this stretch.
“He can definitely help with this crime,” Dak Prescott quarterback said of Washington last week.
He still can. Cowboys will have to wait longer than they thought.
And find someone else in the meantime.
Catch David Moore on The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310 and 96.7 FM) with Musers at 9:35 every morning and Hardline several times a week at 4:15 p.m. during Cowboys Training Camp.
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