Another Cowboys suspension is looming. Their need for a pass rush is heightened. Yes, the beginning of training camp in Dallas will have a familiar feeling.
Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory, suspended four games to start this season, is about to be suspended a lot more. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Gregory is entering a treatment program after Gregory learned he's facing an additional suspension that would be at least 10 games, according to a source informed of the player's plans.
This news clearly goes beyond football. Rapoport reports that Gregory has shut out people close to him and the Cowboys are concerned that Gregory might never play for the team again. Owner Jerry Jones knew this was a risk when the team took Gregory in the second round of last year's draft. He failed a drug test at the combine, which sent him hurtling down most draft boards.
The suspension especially stings the Cowboys because it's a trend. Starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain is suspended 10 games. Starting defensive end Demarcus Lawrence was also suspended four games for substance abuse. It's not as if the Cowboys' front seven has great depth. They have also seen offseason surgeries for defensive end Benson Mayowa, linebacker Sean Lee and rookie defensive tackle Maliek Collins.
This should have been an uplifting Cowboys offseason with the healthy returns of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Instead, the defense has suffered constant issues without easy solutions. Jerry Jones has taken some big risks lately from Greg Hardy to Gregory to drafting second-round pick Jaylon Smith, who is expected to miss his rookie season as he recovers from a severe knee injury. Smith might turn out to be a great pick, but coach Jason Garrett needs defensive players now. He's running out of them.
*Training camp is officially underway. We'll post "what we learned" each day to recap all the news. *
Concerning injury news of the day
It's impossible to know which camp injuries will stick. Nelson and coach Mike McCarthy said they believed the team's No. 1 receiver would be ready before Week 1, but they were vague beyond that. There is always a risk in any recovery that a new injury arises in compensation for the original problem.
- The Browns got a boost on Monday when they learned Josh Gordon could return to the team during training camp and would be suspended for only the first four games of the regular season. On Tuesday, reality set in. He's expected to miss a couple of weeks of practice on the active/NFI list. It's worth remembering Gordon has played only five games in the last two seasons, and he didn't particularly help the Browns' offense in that stretch. He will need all the practice time he can get in Hue Jackson's offense.
Sensible signing of the day
It's great to see Anquan Boldin back in the league. One of the smartest and toughest receivers of the century agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. While Matthew Stafford will miss Megatron, the Lions have a promising wideout trio of Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Boldin. Guys like Andre Roberts, Jeremy Kerley, and T.J. Jones will be fighting for roster spots now.
Update: Even more sensible signing of the day
Is it possible that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider are somehow underrated? What they have accomplished in Seattle tops anything we've seen in the NFL in the last 20 years aside from Bill Belichick's reign in New England.
Tuesday's late news that Carroll has signed a contract extension through 2019 was a no-brainer. In a league desperate for parity, Seattle has been one of the best 3-4 teams in the league four years running. The extraordinary amount of homegrown talent signed through the next three seasons means that this run isn't ending anytime soon.
It's interesting to note that Schneider's recent extension goes through 2021. Carroll, now 64, is only signed through 2019. Carroll may already be thinking that he doesn't want to coach forever, so Seahawks fans should enjoy him while they can.
Guys not showing up for camp
Geno Nation is loving every minute of it. It's not too late to jump on board.
The 49ers have been wondering who will step up at right tackle this offseason. The answer: Their old Pro Bowl right tackle that retired early before the 2015 season. Anthony Davis' agent Drew Rosenhaus told Mike Florio on PFT Live that Davis and the 49ers have patched up their patchy relationship, which is great news for an offense full of questions.
*We'll be back Wednesday, when more teams start camp and we kick off live coverage all day on Inside Training Camp Live. *