OXNARD, Calif. – What's worse than two injured running backs on the roster? That would be three injured running backs, something the Cowboys might be facing after first-teamer Joseph Randle missed all of Monday's practice.
Randle came out to practice in pads, but went off to the side with an athletic trainer for a few minutes early into practice. He never went into the locker room until the end of practice, but stood off to the side without his helmet for the entire practice.
Word from practice was Randle had an injury in his midsection, perhaps an oblique injury. The third-year pro walked off the field, surrounded by reporters, and said he might learn more about the nature of the injury when he met with the training staff.
Randle's injury might not be severe, but serious enough to keep him out of Thursday's preseason game with the Chargers in San Diego.
The Cowboys are already down two backs – Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar – and could have just Gus Johnson and Lache Seastrunk to run the ball against the Chargers.
McFadden remains on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) with a hamstring injury he sustained before the start of camp. He's expected to return to practice on Saturday, Aug. 15 when the team is back in Oxnard. Dunbar's status remains day-to-day with an ankle injury he sustained last week in practice. He is hopeful to practice next week.
Randle has been the Cowboys' most productive runner this camp, handling the bulk of the reps for the first-team and oftentimes with the second unit.
- Defensive tackle Chris Whaley had to be carted off the field with an apparent ankle injury. Whaley, who missed all of last season with a knee injury that kept him on Reserve/NFI (Non-Football Injury). Whaley has been working at both the 3-technique and 1-technque spots on the defensive line.
- While Randle dealt with an injury setback on Monday, another of the Cowboys' ball carriers had some positive news. Lance Dunbar said he plans to work on cutting with his injured ankle on Tuesday. It's been five days since he tweaked it, and he hasn't been able to practice since. Don't expect to see Dunbar play against San Diego, but he said he's hopeful he'll be able to practice next week.
- DeMarcus Lawrence left practice toward the end of the afternoon with a sore back, but he said the problem isn't a serious one. With the first preseason game approaching, it seems the Cowboys are being more cautious than anything else with the litany of hindered starters on the roster.
- Tyler Patmon padded up for practice, but he spent most of the afternoon working separately with trainers. His hip problem is classified as a strain.
- Patmon joined Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr as corners to miss practice, and Morris Claiborne was held out for the one-on-one portion of the day. As a result, the foursome of Byron Jones, Corey White, Joel Ross and Robert Steeples had perhaps the busiest days of their summer.
- Ronald Leary returned to practice after sitting out of Sunday's Blue-White Scrimmage. He experienced back soreness late during Saturday's practice but appeared to be feeling better.
Kyle Wilber –The strong-side linebacker is stringing together some impressive practices these days. It's Wilber who was officially credited with forcing Sunday's goal line fumble. On Monday, he came up with another takeaway when he picked off Jameill Showersin the end zone during seven-on-seven drills. Wilber seems to be lost in the shuffle during linebacker discussions, but he's making a strong case for himself as the Cowboys' strong side starter.
Jeremy Mincey –As well as Tyron Smith has played in this camp, congratulations are in order when someone can beat him as definitively as Mincey did Monday. It wasn't even like Mincey raced around him – he bull-rushed Smith straight-on and caught him off balance. Smith wanted a re-do, but the horn blew to end the period before he could get his rematch.
Tyler Clutts –You could tell how dire the numbers game was at running back when Clutts started taking first-team carries with the offense. It was far from an ideal situation, but the fullback performed admirably, all things considered. In full-team period, he took a handoff from Brandon Weeden on about the 12-yard line and rumbled through the defense for a surprising touchdown. His bowling ball run exasperated the Cowboys defenders and their coaches.
Play Of The Day
Dez Bryant didn't participate in practice, so it fell to Terrance Williams to do his best impression of No. 88. Williams was working out of the slot in seven-on-seven drills and matched up with Joel Ross. The fade route went to the back corner of the end zone. Ross didn't look back for the ball, and Williams skied over him to bring in an impressive touchdown catch. The play had a scary moment, as Williams lost his helmet when he hit the ground and appeared to have injured himself. He recovered quickly, though, and bounded back to the huddle with a nice touchdown catch.
Returned to Practice:
G Ron Leary (back)
DT Chris Whaley (ankle)
DE DeMarcus Lawrence (knee)
RB Joseph Randle (midsection)
DT Nick Hayden (ribs)
WR Dez Bryant (ankle)
CB Tyler Patmon (hip)
CB Orlando Scandrick (knee)
CB Brandon Carr (hand)
DE Kenneth Boatright (neck)
OT Doug Free (rest)
RB Lance Dunbar (ankle)
DT Terrell McClain (bone bruise/hamstring)
RB Darren McFadden (hamstring)
OL Chaz Green (hip)
LB Mark Nzeocha (knee)
LB Rolando McClain (knee)
Tuesday, August 11
10:30 a.m. (PDT) Practice
1:00 p.m. (PDT) Coach Garrett press conference
Wednesday, August 12
Team Travel to San Diego
Thursday, August 13
7:00 p.m. (PDT) Dallas at San Diego