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Rico Gathers confirms he was cleared from concussion after Week 7, says Cowboys left him on IR

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Oh Rico, where art thou?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

2017 was a season of mystery and confusion for the Dallas Cowboys. There are plenty of reasons to choose why.

Whatever your flavor is, you no doubt acknowledge that the way Dallas handled tight end Rico Gathers was confusing.

The second-year former Baylor basketball player showed an ability to contribute in the redzone during last year’s preseason. People were ready to believe, until Rico suffered a concussion before the season ever began.

Dallas put Gathers on injured reserve when they finalized their 53-man roster, and he never left. Concussions are a serious thing in the NFL, they can’t at all be predicted, but it was curious how the Cowboys continued to say that Rico wasn’t ready to come back.

On Wednesday at OTAs Rico confirmed that he was indeed ready to come back. Gathers said that he was cleared beginning after Week 7, this was the week Dallas traveled to Washington on October 29th after the game in San Francisco.

A reminder of what Jason Garrett had to say about Rico around this time:

It’s a bad look for the Cowboys that their own player is publicly saying that he was cleared to come back but that they left him on injured reserve for over half the season. It’s outright saying that the Cowboys manipulated the status of injured reserve.

At the very least we’re at a point where Rico is comfortable speaking his mind. He’s ultimately hedging himself saying that everything is up to the coaches, but he clearly wanted to play and he was ready to. He also might be expecting to be cut based on his reference to “somebody’s” 53-man roster.

The tight end group will be interesting heading into training camp.