Thursday, October 14, 2010
Injuries halt Andre Gurode, Dez Bryant
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys injury situation took a serious turn Thursday when Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode and rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant left practice.
Gurode left with a knee injury and underwent an MRI exam Thursday afternoon which revealed wear and tear. It was also determined that Bryant's right ankle remains too sore after he tried to practice.
Their status for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings hasn't been determined.
Gurode, who tweaked his knee on the last offensive play in Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans, was fine during practices earlier this week but reported issues Thursday.
"He was feeling something. Now walking off the field, he said, 'I'm fine, I'm fine,' " Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said of Gurode. "But he couldn't go, so we'll see how fine he is. We'll look at it and see, and see how he feels tomorrow and so forth. I can't predict all that."
Cowboys doctors determined after Gurode's MRI that his right knee is simply suffering from wear and tear. It's not considered serious, and it's not uncommon for athletes to experience recurring knee problems after surgery.
Gurode had arthoscopic surgery on his knee after the 2009 season. Starting right tackle Marc Colombo had loose cartliage removed from his knee this summer because of years of surgery which resulted in wear and tear. Defensive end Igor Olshansky is having knee issues as well, also from a prior knee surgery.
Left guard Kyle Kosier replaced Gurode in practice. Montrae Holland moved to the left guard spot, replacing Kosier.
If Gurode can't play Sunday in Minnesota, it would mean Koiser's first start at center in his nine-year career. Phillips, who said nothing has been finalized regarding Gurode's status, added that he was confident in Kosier's ability to play center.
As for Bryant, Phillips said he's worried about the rookie's playing status for Sunday. The wide receiver tried to practice Thursday but left the field because he was still sore.
Phillips said he wasn't sure if Bryant could practice Friday.
"It's been on and off," Phillips said. "Those high-ankle sprains tend to last for a while and sometimes don't get completely well."
Safety Alan Ball (shoulder), linebacker Bradie James (knee) and Olshansky (knee and hamstring) returned after not practicing Wednesday but were limited.
Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle) was limited in practice for the second consecutive day. Fullback Chris Gronkowski (groin), who missed practice last week, participated for the second consecutive day.
Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.