Note: Since this article’s publication, it’s been reported James Washington did fracture his foot and will be missing 6-10 weeks. The following article provides additional information and his injury.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver James Washington had to be carted off the field during Monday’s practice. After practice was over, Jerry Jones told reporters he was “concerned about it.”
According to Adam Schefter from ESPN, the Cowboys are concerned James Washington suffered a “Jones fracture.”
It’s worth pointing out that’s not an actual diagnosis. It’s an initial thought from the Cowboys, per Michael Gehlken from Dallas Morning News. Washington is expected to have an MRI after practice in order to confirm.
If the Cowboys’ concerns end up being correct, what could be the expected timeline for his return? As all injuries do, it varies from player to player, but perhaps Derrick Henry’s foot injury from 2021 provides clues.
After suffering a Jones fracture in week 8 versus the Indianapolis Colts, Henry was unable to return until their playoff game in the Divisional Round (Titans had a bye week). He was designated to return from IR before week 18, however, even though he wasn’t activated for that game.
Back in November, Dr. Geoff Watson joined A to z Sports Nashville in order to provide some insight on the Jones fracture, its surgery, and possible recovery time.
“This injury is more of a problem because of what it can turn into,” says M.D. Geoff Watson in the interview above, “and then it could not heal and then be a long-term problem.”
Speaking of what the surgery could look like, Dr. Watson describes it as “taking advantage of the bone, which is somewhat hollow like a tube, and you’re filling it up with a piece of metal (typically a solid screw) to stabilize the fracture.”
As for potential recovery, Dr. Watson confesses it can be somewhat of a gray area. Traditionally, it could mean 10 weeks before getting a player back on the field. But over the last five years, there have been players coming back in 5-6 weeks.
Dr. Watson calls returning in five weeks after the surgery can be “a little scary” because of the risk of re-injury. Overall, 6-10 weeks seems to be a fair timetable for Washington.
That would fit the Dallas Cowboys’ own history, as well.
As we await the word on further testing for James Washington, a reminder that a fifth-metatarsal fracture cost DeMarcus Lawrence 10 games last year and in 2015, it cost Dez Bryant five games (six weeks).— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 1, 2022
In Henry’s case, his surgery required a screw and a plate, pushing the timetable toward the 10-week mark.
Ultimately, the Dallas Cowboys still need to confirm James Washington’s injury when the MRI is done. It’s a situation to monitor closely as Washington was expected to have a big role while the offense awaited Michael Gallup’s return.
Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports