Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, for now anyway, is suspended for the first four games of the regular season.
Luckily, the team has some experience working with players facing a four-game suspension to start the regular season. This time last year, Orlando Scandrick was in the same spot Hardy’s in now, facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. His suspension was eventually reduced to two games, but the team went through the preseason giving their best corner more playing time than they would have if he were in line to play in the first four games.
They’ll use a similar approach with Hardy, which means we’ll at least see some of the former Pro Bowler in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego.
“We’ll take Greg on the same kind of course that we would take most of our veteran players,” head coach Jason Garrett said, per Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Probably similar to what we did with Orlando Scandrick last year. Give them an opportunity to progress over the course of the preseason and play more each game.
“This will be his first game playing [in almost a year], so you want to be careful about saying, ‘OK, you’re going to play 80 reps in this game because that will catch you all up.’ We’re going to progress him normally like you would after two weeks of training camp, and hopefully it’ll be a good, positive work for him.”
According to reports, Hardy still hasn’t decided whether or not he’ll pursue a further reduction of what started as a 10-game suspension, or just accept the four-game suspension. It had been reported before the reduced penalty was announced that he would fight anything over two games.