“A broken fifth metatarsal during just a standard, regular pass-rush in practice,” Rapoport clarified. “A freak accident for DeMarcus Lawrence and he is going to have surgery, I’m told, expected back by November. So about a two-month recovery, which is standard for this kind of injury.”
ESPN’s Todd Archer echoed Rapoport in reporting that Lawrence is “looking at a 6-8 week absence” which will necessitate a trip to injured reserve.
“He suffered a similar injury his rookie season in training camp,” Archer noted.
Lawrence confirmed the news on Twitter Wednesday evening, vowing to return this season.
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Injury Bug Terrorizing Dallas
From quarterback Dak Prescott’s throwing shoulder strain during training camp to right guard Zack Martin missing Week 1 on the COVID-19 list, injury luck is not on the Cowboys’ side to begin the 2021 campaign. Making matters worse, right tackle La’el Collins is now serving a five-game suspension and wide receiver Michael Gallup (calf) is on IR for 3-5 weeks.
On defense, the team practiced Wednesday without starting safety Donovan Wilson, who has a nagging groin injury, and designated pass-rusher Randy Gregory, who remains on the COVID list, unlikely to play in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“The Cowboys have to go out on the field, with a defense that everyone hoped would be a little bit better than last year, without their best pass-rusher, without their best defensive player,” Rapoport said. “Just a significant blow that Dallas now must overcome if it wants to get in the win column.”
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D-Law Invaluable to Defense
Fans and some media claim Lawrence, he of the $90 million contract, is a good-if-not-great player. The stats prove otherwise. “Since 2017, DeMarcus Lawrence has forced 11 turnovers caused by pressure, tied for sixth-most in the NFL in that span,” tweeted Next Gen Stats.
“According to ESPN Stats & Info, DeMarcus Lawrence (204) is one of four players since 2017 to generate at least 200 first pressures. Aaron Donald (257), Cameron Jordan (231) and Khalil Mack (215) are the others,” tweeted Archer.
Lawrence notched five tackles (four solo) amid Dallas’ 31-29 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Thursday. Although he failed to register a sack, the two-time Pro Bowler repeatedly knifed into the backfield, putting pressure on Tom Brady while helping limit the Buccaneers’ ground attack to 52 rushing yards.
Without Lawrence and likely sans Gregory, the Cowboys could be forced to start Dorance Armstrong and Tarell Basham at defensive end for Sunday’s road showdown against Justin Herbert and the Chargers.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL