training camp. The Cowboys' first training camp practice was Saturday, July 29. By Monday, he was sitting with a concussion. But he already was noticeably limping, and that was just four practices into camp. He would sit out the afternoon practice that Monday after suffering a concussion. A pretty good one. Was supposed to be out like four days.
But when he didn't return by the end of the week, and then missed most of last week, it became quite apparent this had nothing to do with his head. The knee was probably kaput.
The Cowboys came to the conclusion late last week it was, and while they are pretty sure, they at least gave Beriault the latitude of seeking an independent second opinion.
Too bad, because it appeared the Cowboys had found something there in the sixth-rounder. Early in camp last summer, before his knee started swelling and then had to be drained several times, Beriault was making his presence known. He had a knack for getting to the ball. Although he wasn't a pound more than like 200, he'd hit you, now.
In the two preseason games he did play before given calculate rest in the final two, Beraiult recorded two tackles, a sack and an interception. He had made enough of an impression for the Cowboys to place him on injured reserve. Had he not, they would have just released him injured, and chalked it up to a degenerative problem. The poor kid just didn't have any cartilage left in his knee. As they say, bone on bone rubbing constantly with every step. No cushion between the knee and the leg bones.
That's what happens to old people, wear and tear over time, not 24-year-old kids. That's what causes knee and hip replacements. The pain becomes too much.
Funny thing was, when Beriault missed the Cowboys' 2005 season opener in San Diego, he told me that was the "first game I've ever missed in my entire life."
Now he'll probably never play in one again.
Parcells was serious about "never play again." At this point, Beriault can function as an every-day guy. He can walk, and still run after his two kids, 4-year-old daughter Madison and 1-year-old son Mason. We should all be able to enjoy that part of life.
Beriault told me that day in June if he didn't make this team, he would not blame his exclusion on injury. He was that confident the repair job had worked.
Well, it worked enough to allow him to walk with less to no pain, but did not work near well enough to allow him to play football. Just like Thornton and nearly every other professional football player before him.
"I'll never use (injury) as an excuse," Beriault said.
That's just the way the kid is.
That's why you hurt a little for him, and even a little more that he left without notice over the weekend with everyone in Seattle for the preseason game. Arrive with little fanfare, depart with even less.
That's why they call 'em long shots. If the slipper fit every woman's foot, they'd all be at the ball.