What looked like more of a minor injury Saturday night in San Diego, now appears could sideline safety Gerald Sensabaugh for 3-4 weeks, possibly forcing him to miss the season opener in Washington.
Sensabaugh suffered the injury – a subluxation in his left shoulder – in the second defensive series of the Cowboys' 16-14 win over the Chargers. Initially, reports from the locker room indicated Sensabaugh might just be held out for the rest of the preseason, mainly for precautionary measures.
But as the Sept. 12 game against the Redskins is exactly three weeks away, not it seems Sensabaugh's chances of returning are closer to 50-50.
For the Cowboys, it's a good thing veterans Pat Watkins (sore knee) and Mike Hamlin (concussion/strained neck) are expected to return to practice this week. And not to mention, the Cowboys also have three rookie safeties that are playing well. Fourth-round pick Akwasi Owusu-Ansah made his debut Saturday night, but undrafted rookie Barry Church filled in for Sensabaugh at strong safety. Church not only stopped the run well but his 80-yard fumble return helped the Cowboys score their first offensive touchdown of the preseason.
And then rookie Danny McCray looks to have locked up a roster spot, solely for his ability on special teams. McCray was a star on the coverage teams Saturday night. Whatever happens at the rest of the safety spots, look for McCray to have one for himself.
But the big question will be what the Cowboys do now in place of Sensabaugh for the time being. Watkins and Hamlin are more free safeties, but it's not to say they can't fill in.
Then again, the Cowboys might just go with Church, a more natural strong safety who doesn't appear out of his element.