After missing all of 2020 due to injury, Offensive Tackle La'el Collins is going to make news for even the most minor of health-related incidents. Cowboys Nation went on red alert yesterday when reports came out that Collins had to leave the practice field, but it doesn't appear to have been a major or long-term problem.
Collins' exit yesterday was due to neck and shoulder “discomfort.” This was already good news, in a way, as it meant he wasn't having problems with his hip. That was what knocked him out of last season, requiring surgery last October.
But the real good news was that even though it ended Collins' day in practice, this new issue doesn't sound like anything to worry about.
Cowboys RT La'el Collins exited practice with apparent discomfort in the shoulder/neck area. He spectated for remainder of practice. Ty Nsekhe handled first-team reps in his absence.
La'el Collins did not finish practice after meeting with head athletic trainer Jim Maurer. Appeared to get his shoulder/neck examined. He remained on the field, which may be a sign it's not too bad.
Source said Cowboys are not concerned about La'el Collins health. He suffered a minor arm/neck injury.
The Cowboys suffered greatly last year without La'el and Tyron Smith manning the offensive tackles positions. Wile Dak Prescott was the biggest loss of 2020 due to injury, Dallas might have at least made the playoffs had Andy Dalton been able to play with a solvent offensive line.
All reports so far from this year's training camp have been that Collins and Smith are both fully healthy. Yesterday's news was the first indication of a problem, but it doesn't appear to have any bearing on the season opener.
Another positive from this report is that veteran Ty Nsekhe, who exited the last preseason game with an injury, is apparently back and stepped in when La'el left practice. The swing tackle position is a vital one, as 2020 emphatically illustrated, and Dallas signed Nsekhe as a free agent to bring experience and depth to the role.
Of course, the hope is that we never have to turn to Nsekhe during the regular season. We want to see La'el Collins and Tyron Smith play every snap as the starting offensive tackles.
Thankfully, yesterday's brief scare shouldn't threaten that goal.