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Mailbag: La'el Collins' Role & 'Best 5' Approach?


With the news that Terence Steele will start practice this week at right tackle, the position he's held admirably these past several weeks, and La'el Collins will get some practice time at guard, do you think we might see some "best 5" shuffling during the game this Sunday and beyond? DAVID CAUGHRAN / CHARLESTON, SC

Rob: I doubt we would see a bunch of shuffling during a game. It's interesting that Collins is getting some work at guard during the week, though. It opens up possibilities. Maybe we do see Collins at left guard at some point. Maybe we see Collins back at right tackle at some point after a ramp-up period. Maybe the current five will simply continue playing together if things keep going well. (Mike McCarthy did praise Terence Steele's play once again and reference the importance of continuity.) I think the overall point is this: Collins' return adds flexibility and competition to the group, and that's not a bad thing.

David: It feels early to speculate, but it's definitely curious. If I had to guess, I think the coaching staff gives Collins time to re-acclimate to football. Then, they'll keep an eye on how Steele and Williams hold up. If you're making me guess right now, I'm not convinced they make a change to the starting lineup for this game in Minnesota. But it could absolutely be coming.

What's the latest on Neville Gallimore (elbow)? – VINCENT VINCI / LAURENCE HARBOR, NJ

Rob: Gallimore's return to practice isn't imminent yet. Same with DeMarcus Lawrence (foot). Both are still on Reserve/Injured, but the Cowboys are still planning for both to return sometime later in the season. Once they start the practice window the team will have three weeks to activate them back to the 53-man roster.

David: I know a lot of people are wondering about Gallimore, because this is around the time people were projecting he'd be back during training camp. Mike McCarthy said last week that he's not quite ready, but he should be back more quickly than DeMarcus Lawrence. Fortunately, there's no need to rush because the team is 5-1 and has a commanding lead in the division. With any luck, maybe we'll see Neville start to practice in another couple weeks.

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