Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy informed the press Matt Waletzko would not be practicing this week. The fifth-round rookie suffered a shoulder injury last week and there doesn’t appear to be a timetable for his return just yet.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the rookie out of North Dakota will have to undergo surgery at some point. The question has become, when?
According to Michael Gehlken from Dallas Morning News, the injury dates back to his college days.
It is considered a matter of when, not if, Cowboys OT Matt Waletzko will undergo surgery on shoulder subluxation. Rookie fifth-round pick is not expected to practice this week. Shoulder issue has history, dating back to senior year at North Dakota.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 1, 2022
This doesn’t necessarily rule out Waletzko coming back from injury before having surgery, though. ESPN’s Todd Archer noted the hope is the rookie can play through it while pushing the surgery until later.
Waletzko and Josh Ball were expected to have one of the top training camp battles on the team as they’re both aiming to be the Cowboys’ swing tackle for the season. That might still happen, but it won’t be this week, the first in pads for the team.
Even still, the offensive line will provide much to discuss, including Tyler Smith’s new focus in practice.
Jerry Jones mentioned after the Draft that picking the North Dakota prospect meant they weren’t going to look for additional tackles in free agency. If Waletzko is forced to miss an extended period of time, the Cowboys might be forced to reconsider such a stance.
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