Where have you gone, Laurent Robinson?
Executive V.P. Stephen Jones says he isn’t worried about the situation, even though Austin missed six games last year with hamstring issues.
Overall, Jones should be worried. A full 19 players are injured, in some degree or another.
“I wouldn’t say they’re dropping like flies,” Jones said, via the team’s website. “We’ve got some work to do and we’re probably going to have to look at bringing some guys in. The good news is there’s not anything catastrophic or that we’re concerned about for the long haul, but shoot, this is training camp. We go through this every year.”
Jones explained that injuries are part of the preseason, and one of the reasons when the rosters grew by 10 spots this year.
“[W]e addressed it on the Competition Committee, and I think you need it, we’ve got to have 90 players,” Jones said. “So, that’s a good thing. We used to work from 80. We’ve got 10 freebies, and it’s still not enough.”
Still, it’s not as if great players can be replaced by anyone. During a visit from owner Jerry Jones on Wednesday’s Dan Patrick Show (which created enough buzz to land on Tom Brokaw’s radar screen in London), Jones shrugged at the departure of Laurent Robinson, explaining that one of the team’s young receivers would step up and do what Robinson did last season.
But Robinson did more than take advantage of the openings underneath the coverage applied to Austin and Bryant. Robinson started those games Austin missed. While the running back position possibly has evolved (or perhaps devolved) to the point where any guy hanging around the practice field can be plugged in, it’s likely not that easy for receivers.
And so, even though Jerry Jones danced around the question of whether there’s any set of circumstances in which the team would bring back Terrell Owens, Jones may have to consider whether bringing in a veteran at some point makes more sense than hoping the light goes on for one of the various newbies.