La’el Collins, a starting right tackle for the Dallas Cowboys, was suspended five games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. While the suspension is not as severe as it could have been, Collins still lost $1 million in salary and will be forced to miss games against Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Giants.
The Dallas Cowboys starting RT La’el Collins has been suspended for five games due to a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
FRISCO, Texas (KTRK) — The NFL announced Friday that Dallas Cowboys starting right tackle La’el Collins has been banned for five games for violating the league’s drug abuse policy.
Collins’ precise violation is unknown, although reports claim he passed all of his exams. Five games isn’t mentioned anywhere in the policy as a possible punishment.
Collins’ lawyers are continuing to fight on his behalf, claiming that his breach of the rules only warrants a fine, not a suspension, according to a source who spoke to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Collins is eligible to return to the roster on Oct. 18, the day after the Cowboys face the Patriots.
The Cowboys were not surprised by the NFL’s decision, but coach Mike McCarthy said that “the timing of it is a little uncomfortable, but it’s simply something I can’t talk about right now” at his press conference on Friday.
Collins’ ban will cost him about $2 million, and it would invalidate an injury guarantee worth $6.48 million in his 2022 contract, according to the collective bargaining agreement.
Collins has started 62 of the Cowboys’ 63 games since 2015, all at left guard or right tackle. He missed 13 games due to a toe injury in 2016 and the whole 2017 season due to hip surgery. His participation in Thursday’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was in doubt a week ago due to a stinger problem that kept him out of two sessions.
The Cowboys may look for a replacement in a number of ways if Collins is released.
The Buccaneers’ backup offensive tackles were veteran Ty Nsekhe and Terence Steele, who started 14 games last season. If the Cowboys opt for a tackle-for-tackle exchange, any of these players may take Collins’ position.
“We had a lot of experience moving players around last year,” McCarthy said, “but we’d want to keep going ahead with the guys that have been working at right tackle.” “Clearly, [Collins], Ty, and Terence have taken the reps…. We’ve got our eyes wide open. Things happen, therefore you have to be prepared. We want to be able to mix and match as much as possible.”
The Cowboys may potentially move six-time Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin to tackle while keeping right guard Connor McGovern. Martin started two games at right tackle last season before his season was cut short due to a calf injury. Martin is still on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but he should be ready to play against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2.
McCarthy was questioned last week about starting Martin at tackle this season.
“I hope we don’t have to travel that route again,” McCarthy expressed his desire. “How Zack Martin went out there and gave us the kind of play he was able to offer us says volumes about him.”
For the Cowboys’ offense, Collins’ absence will not be the only one.
Michael Gallup exited the Buccaneers’ 31-29 defeat early due to a calf injury, which a source claimed may keep him out for three to five weeks. Before being hurt in the second half, he had four receptions for 36 yards.
Following Gallup’s injury, Cedrick Wilson took over as the No. 3 receiver behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.
The Dallas Cowboys starting RT La’el Collins suspended five games is a story about the Dallas Cowboy’s starting right tackle, La’el Collins. He was suspended for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Reference: buccaneers.
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