Roy Williams grimaces as head athletic trainer Jim Maurer, right rear, and trainer Britt Brown check his left shoulder following a collision on the field with a teammate during practice.
If you were one of the over 26,000 people who attended the Cowboys’ open practice last night at Cowboys Stadium, you got to see what is fast becoming a relatively common phenomenon: a Roy Williams training camp injury.
Williams banged his shoulder in that padless affair. X-rays were negative (the team feared a busted collarbone), but now ESPN is reporting that Williams’ shoulder will keep likely him out the rest of the preseason.
On Friday, the Double J told Newy Scruggs that Williams has a bruised shoulder and will be ready to roll for the team's first regular season game on Sept. 13 at Tampa Bay.
This is the second injury scare for Williams this preseason, not an encouraging sign when you consider the team desperately needs him be become a true No. 1 wideout this year, with Terrell Owens gone and a thin crop behind Williams left at the position.
While Roy’s injury is unlikely to keep him out for Week 1 against the Bucs, the fact that he’ll probably sit out Saturday night’s game against San Francisco is discouraging. In last week’s game against the Titans, Williams appeared to be developing a steady rapport with quarterback Tony Romo. Another full half of work against pants-free Mike Singletary and the 49ers probably would have served to help strengthen that bond further.
Yeah yeah, it’s the preseason, and it’s pointless. But the Cowboys have a lot at stake with Williams. And now that he’s done until Week 1, there remains a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the team made the right decision to sink or swim with him. There’s a chance his shoulder injury will flare up again. Williams has only played a full 16-game once in his career. This injury increases the possibility that somewhere down the line, the Cowboys will be lining up with Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin or Sam Hurd as their starting wideouts. Or that they’ll turn to outside help to help shore up the position (Brandon Marshall, anyone?).
It’s only a minor injury. It’s only the preseason. As linebacker Bradie James said so insightfully, “"It's football. I mean, sometimes people run into each other. Hopefully that's all it is." Very observant, Bradie. But if the Cowboys reach a point in the year where they end up throwing to Jason Witten 30 times a game, this will be where the trouble started brewing.