OXNARD, Calif. – Further tests Monday confirmed a right foot fracture for wide receiver James Washington, who's expected to miss roughly 6-10 weeks with a fractured fifth metatarsal.
Washington will head back to Dallas to have surgery to repair the fracture.
He left Monday's practice on a medical cart after landing awkwardly on a jump-ball play against cornerback Trevon Diggs in 7-on-7 drills. He had trouble putting weight on his injured foot before exiting the field on the cart.
The Cowboys have seen varying timeframes for this type of injury in the past. Former receiver Dez Bryant had surgery in 2015 and missed six weeks. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had surgery last September and missed 10 weeks. So it's a tentative timetable for Washington.
One thing is certain: the injury further complicates the Cowboys' depth chart at wide receiver. CeeDee Lamb is off to a strong start as the new No. 1 option replacing Amari Cooper (Browns), but the rest of the rotation looks unsettled.
Starter Michael Gallup said last week he doesn't expect to be back from February ACL surgery in time for the Sept. 11 season opener. The Cowboys are excited about rookie Jalen Tolbert, but the third-round draft pick obviously lacks experience.
Washington, drafted by the Steelers in the second round in 2017, posted 114 catches for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns in four seasons but never consistently cracked Pittsburgh's starting lineup. The Texas native signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys in March and entered camp with his best chance yet to win a starting job.
While Washington is out, more responsibility could shift to sixth-year veteran Noah Brown, one of the most consistent receivers over the first week of camp. The Cowboys could also look for outside free agent help, though that's more speculation than fact given their surplus of salary cap space (over $20 million).