7:24pm: Collins’ recovery timeline actually hovers between 10-12 weeks, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). The surgery on the 23-year-old guard’s big toe is expected to shelve him until December.
7:17pm: La’El Collins‘ toe injury sustained Sunday night will send him to IR, according to Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk. The second-year guard suffered a torn toe ligament against the Bears and will miss 8-10 games, after which the Cowboys could bring him back.
The Cowboys can activate one player from IR this season. Tony Romo remains on the team’s active roster, so his timetable would not interfere with a potential Collins return.
It’s a blow to a Cowboys offensive line coming off a strong performance, but the team has depth after keeping Ronald Leary on its roster despite trade rumors surrounding the backup guard throughout the offseason. A surprise UDFA who was pegged to go off the 2015 draft board in the first round before being connected with a murder investigation, Collins seized the starting left guard job from Leary after five games last season.
The Cowboys declined to trade Leary earlier this offseason, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Now, having the veteran as a swing lineman could be crucial since he’ll slip back into his former position in about as seamless of a transition as could be for a team that just lost a promising blocker.
Leary, though, started 35 games between 2013-15 and was part of the line that sprung DeMarco Murray to the 2014 rushing title. He’s a free agent after the season and, after wanting to go elsewhere to showcase his abilities, the fifth-year player will have a chance to do so in Dallas while Collins recovers.
Dallas was without Tyron Smith as well Sunday night, but the left tackle stalwart’s injury is not believed to be nearly as serious as Collins despite his missing the Chicago tilt.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.