Travis Frederick diagnosed with autoimmune disease


The Dallas Cowboys escaped a recent injury scare with All-Pro guard Zack Martin. They won't be as fortunate with the anchor of their celebrated offensive line.

Veteran center Travis Frederick announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the immune system attacks the body's nervous system in response to illness.

A Pro Bowl selection in each of the past four seasons, Frederick has dealt with shoulder and neck issues throughout training camp. The team originally believed he was suffering from stingers, leaving him available for the start of the regular season.

Guillain-Barré syndrome comes in varying forms, from mild cases which are quickly alleviated to more serious attacks that last for months. Frederick is optimistic about his treatment since the illness was diagnosed early, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, though there is no timetable for the center's return to football action.

In the wake of Frederick's announcement, Broncos beat writer Troy Renck noted he has covered players who have made successful recoveries from Guillain-Barré syndrome.

When former Washington Redskins quarterback Danny Wuerffel was diagnosed with the illness a decade after retirement, he experienced weakness and tingling in his legs along with headaches. Chicago Bears Super Bowl icon William "The Refrigerator" Perry has also dealt with an advanced case of the disease.

The Cowboys have pegged backup center Joe Looney to replace Frederick while he undergoes treatment, coach Jason Garrett told reporters Thursday. Looney hasn't started a regular-season game since 2016. Cowboys right guard Zack Martin is considered a "safety net" at center if injury should befall Looney.