IRVING, Texas– Injuries should be a familiar topic to Cowboys fans by now, so it's not entirely surprising that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett opened his first press conference of OTAs by addressing the topic.
Sean Lee injured his knee and had to be assisted from the field toward the tail end of Tuesday's first full-team practice. Garrett fielded plenty of questions about Lee's health, as well as the health of Tony Romo and Morris Claiborne – among other issues.
Here are some quick impressions from the press conference:
- Asked about Lee's injury, Garrett said :"I don't know much about his status other than he's going to get his knee evaluated. It's his left knee." Garrett said Lee is going to be evaluated by doctors later on Tuesday afternoon.
- As of his press conference, Garrett said he hadn't been able to see the tape of the play, but he plans to evaluate it as Lee has his knee looked at.
- Garrett didn't want to get into hypotheticals about replacing Lee. He said the coaching staff would evaluate its linebackers if Lee is unable to practice and go from there.
- Cornerback Morris Claiborne sat out of the team portion of practice Tuesday. Garrett said Claiborne was "full-go" in all individual drills, but they are trying to hold him out of live ball action as he recovers from an offseason surgery.
- Garrett said Claiborne has done a good job recovering from injuries last season, and he looks stronger. He said the coaching staff is "trying to do right by him" in terms of pacing him during OTAs.
- Tony Romo worked during the early portion of OTAs, including team walkthrough and some individual work. Garrett said it was the team's intention to keep him "out of the competitive stuff," meaning the full-team drills. Romo followed the coaches' gameplan for his involvement.
- Asked how to mitigate practice injuries, Garrett reiterated a familiar point about "practicing right." He said players have to remember they're competing, but competing against teammates. He added players need to be mindful of staying off the ground and avoiding scrums.
- OTAs are the best opportunity for young players and backups to get good reps, as it's not as important for starters to get the maximum of amount of work. Garrett said those extra reps should benefit Brandon Weeden while Romo works his way back.
- Much like Weeden, Garrett talked about how much the Cowboys' coaches like Ryan Williams when he came out of Virginia Tech in 2011. He said it's obvious Williams is energetic, and they're excited to watch him play.
- Garrett said he doesn't spend time worrying about Romo's back, as it's "not a productive" emotion. He said the staff will control what it can control in continuing to work Romo back into the flow.