Despite already relocating him to their IR list, the Cowboys are not planning for La’el Collins to have surgery to repair a torn toe ligament in the near future. Instead, the team will wait for multiple weeks to see if the ligament can heal on its own, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter).
Per the second-year guard, via Hill (on Twitter), multiple specialists are set to examine the injury. He will continue to receive treatment in the meantime. Currently outfitted with a walking boot, Collins hopes the injury will heal on its own, Hill tweets.
Collins must miss a minimum of six weeks of practice and eight weeks’ worth of Cowboys games. So, regardless of the team’s course of action with its talented young blocker, Collins will be out until at least late November. Should he undergo surgery, Collins could be sidelined up to 12 weeks, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.
The Cowboys are incredibly well-prepared to handle a loss at this particular position, with former starter Ronald Leary ready to rejoin a group with which he’s quite familiar. He will man the left guard spot until Collins comes back, but considering the impending free agent’s experience and the fluid nature of Collins’ recovery, it might not be a lock the starter reclaims his job late in the season.
Pro Football Focus bestowed its second-worst grade — among full-time guards — on Collins this season for the 186 snaps he’s logged. Football Outsiders ranks Dallas’ offensive front 11th through three games. It ranked sixth in 2015 and first in ’14. Leary started 35 games between 2013-15.
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