Dallas Cowboys 2022 NFL preseason round-up: Injury report, Chargers scrimmage, KaVontae Turpin…
CeeDee Lamb gave the Cowboys a scare, sitting out the Chargers joint practice. KaVontae Turpin is trying to prove he’s more than just a punt returner.
Cowboys first training camp with Chargers
On Wednesday, the Cowboys had their first of two joint practices with the LA Chargers ahead of their preseason game this Saturday. They displayed a much better physical level than they did last week against the Broncos, so that’s good news. Hopefully they were just kicking off the dust last week. There were (almost) no confrontations/fights like there were in Denver last week either, so it seems the Cowboys are indeed working on their discipline, or maybe the heat just really got to their heads in Colorado.
Highlights include Ezekiel Elliott’s run game. He took a handoff from Prescott to start the scrimmage and when Broncos safety Nasir Adderley tried to stop him, Zeke burst through, knocking off Adderley’s helmet and gaining even more yards.
“That’s the type of tone I try to set every time I step on the field, period,” Zeke said.
CeeDee Lamb didn’t practice due to foot injury
The Cowboys no. 1 wide receiver CeeDee Lamb sat out the Chargers joint practice on Wednesday with an apparent foot injury. This is NOT good news for the Cowboys, who are already struggling with depth at wide receiver. They are brushing it off as minor, but with what they’re working with now, they had better hope it’s literally nothing.
Lamb practiced last week in Denver despite soreness in his foot. What eventually came out about the injury was this…
Anthony Barr at practice
Newly-signed linebacker Anthony Barr finally practiced with the Cowboys in Los Angeles on Wednesday after being taken off the PUP list. It was mostly just individual and seven-on-seven drills, but still, it was something after nothing for the last eight months. Barr made sure to point out that he’s not been doing exactly nothing during that time, despite not playing football. He has been training and conditioning since March. He’s at least now getting some practice on the field with the team before playing in a real game, which coach McCarthy said was quite important to him.
“It was a great start. Just trying to get my feet wet again,” said Barr. “It’s always good to work out with other guys doing what you’re doing.”
Cowboys injury report
Other than the actually minor injury to Lamb’s foot, the Cowboys have a few other injuries to report, though none are currently dire.
Like CeeDee Lamb, Kearse’s name is not one you want to see on an injury report. The safety say out practice on Wednesday due to some soreness in his back. He missed last week as well. Both he and Lamb will continue to rest as a precaution, saving them for when the points matter, but should both be ready to go on September 11.
Cornerback Jourdan Lewis limped off the field on Wednesday, looking like he had suffered a hamstring injury. He did not return to practice and it looks like he could miss the rest of preseason. He may not have played much in the preseason anyway though, so hopefully this doesn’t impact him or the Cowboys too much. He will have an MRI later today, but the team is optimistic about his start in their regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Cowboys don’t seem to be focusing on their backups at really any position, do they? The lack of depth at tackle is becoming more apparent as Waletzko is likely to be put on Injured Reserve. He is dealing with a shoulder injury, which is a persistent problem he’s had since college. Though he seems to be recovering, he will eventually have to have surgery. Waletzko is expected to make the final roster, but will likely be put on IR, meaning he would miss at least the first four games.
The quarterback 2 battle continues
This week, quarterback Will Grier should get some playing time. He was out last week with a groin injury, but should be good to go this week against the Chargers. Cooper Rush’s performance was underwhelming and Ben DiNucci did not provide any more encouragement. Grier will have his chance to compete for the QB2 spot that the Cowboys desperately need to fill with someone halfway decent.
KaVontae Turpin stands out in practice
Turpin, the TCU alum the Cowboys signed to be their returner to start this season, has suddenly become an option for a WR2 position behind Lamb with James Washington out and Michael Gallup still recovering. Turpin is definitely up to the challenge - why be pigeonholed as just a returner?
“I’m a receiver. That’s what I do,” Turpin said. “Special teams - I can do that in my sleep. I’m trying to show the NFL that I can play receiver at this level, too.”
And so he did. At Wednesday’s practice, Turpin showed out, making an over-the-shoulder catch from Cooper Rush despite being ganged up on by defenders, kept his feet in bounds, and got the Cowboys a fourth-down conversion.
The guy is FAST. Not only that, but he is determined.
“The play before, I dropped the ball and I was frustrated,” Turpin said, speaking about a play that bounced off his chest for an incomplete. “When I saw them call the next play, I knew it had a chance to come to me, so I ran my route and saw [the ball] in the air and told myself, ‘I gotta make this play.’ So when I made it, I was just excited because it was the first deep ball that’s been thrown to me since I got [to the Cowboys]. I just had to make it.”
“Speed kills. That’s what I do,” he said. “With my speed, I feel like guys can’t check me. They can’t do [anything] with me.”
Turpin will keep getting these opportunities as the Cowboys test how best to utilize him. We will see more in the Cowboys’ scrimmage with the Chargers today and in the preseason game against them this Saturday.