Training camp is a battle of attrition as much as it is the time to implement schemes and prepare for the upcoming NFL season. You don’t just make it through, you have to survive.
An unfortunate reality of football is that every year there are players who fall victim to the injury bug before the season gets going. Sometimes that happens in the preseason and sometimes it happens in practice. Every fanbase has to continually hold its breath.
The Cowboys begin their preseason on Thursday out in San Francisco, and in about a month they’ll travel to take on the Carolina Panthers in the season opener. Carolina has already lost starting right tackle Daryl Williams, and unfortunately for them on Tuesday word trickled out that they’d be without starting left guard Amini Silatolu. From our friends at Cat Scratch Reader:
It is anticipated that Silatolu will miss about six weeks recovering from the injury, meaning for at least the first couple of games, the team will have to find a different answer. That person could very well end up being the starter the entire season with a good enough performance. The problem is... no one currently on the roster has the experience needed to be the obvious choice at the position.
All the options the Panthers have were either on other teams last season, playing a different position, or even just now making their first NFL appearance. The hottest name in the building right now is Brendan Mahon, a guy who went undrafted this year, but that the coaches “like.”
Six weeks from now is after Week 2 of the regular season. While it looks like the Cowboys will dodge Silatolu in the opener the next NFC East game that the Panthers play is in Week 5 against the New York Giants. Injuries are never a good thing but looking at this situation from a competitive standpoint it appears, as of now, that Dallas will get an advantage over the Panthers that their division rivals theoretically won’t.
The Cowboys have a nice stable of pass rushers (see the recently released depth chart here) as it is and the wind keeps getting added to their sails for the first game of the season. We obviously hope that Silatolu gets healthy (especially in time for the Giants), but it is nevertheless something that will play a role in our game against them.