Yesterday, we devoted a post to Josh Brent, who will have to step in as the starting nose tackle for Dallas in the regular season opener against the Giants if Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff can’t return from a high ankle sprain in time. Tight end John Phillips is in a similar spot, waiting to see if Jason Witten can return from a lacerated spleen in time for week one, and preparing to start if he can’t.
“You’ve got to be ready to go,” Phillips said this week, per the Dallas Morning News. “Step in. Next man up mentality. Ready to get out there and go.”
Phillips had 15 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown a season ago, after missing the entire 2010 campaign with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason of that year. In 2012, he will likely see his role expand significantly, whether Witten is healthy or not, due to the departure of longtime No. 2 tight end Martellus Bennett, who left for New York this offseason.
“You always think you’re going to have a major role every game your entire career,” Phillips continued. “Somebody can get hurt. It happened to me one play. Two years ago in that preseason game. You’re a knee injury away or a rolled ankle away from playing the whole game.
“So that’s the way you’ve got to prepare, go in every week thinking you’re going to play 70 reps.”
Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.