Defensive tackle Christian Ballard had a sack in the team’s preseason opener against the Texans, but was later pulled from the game with a groin injury that’s kept him out of practice over the last week.
Ballard, a fourth-round pick in 2011, won’t be returning to practice this week either. Coach Leslie Frazier announced after Sunday’s practice that Ballard has been placed on the active-left squad list after informing the team that he would be taking time away to deal with some personal issues.
“[Ballard] is one of those guys we were counting on to be a part in our rotation,” Frazier said, via 1500ESPN.com. “He did a very good job for us a season ago, we’re hoping he would help us this year as well. Hopefully, things work out for him. But he has some personal things he has to take care of.”
As Frazier intimated, Ballard was expected to make the team this year but Fred Evans and 2012 first-round pick Sharrif Floyd are now positioned to be the top reserves at tackle behind Kevin Williams and Letroy Guion. If Ballard’s absence is a short one, he may be able to hold onto his spot but the odds are probably against it given how close we are to the start of the regular season.