The Cowboys receiving corp is getting thinner by the minute. Michael Gallup won’t be ready at the start of the season as he works his way back from a torn ACL. Then James Washington went down with a right foot injury at practice Monday, and he is now facing a lengthy absence. Washington was injured as he was running a route down the sideline. His foot was likely hurt on the step just before he reached for a ball thrown in front of him. Washington tried to get up but wasn’t able to put much weight on that foot. He was then carted off and sent for further evaluation. Scans showed a Jones fracture. This is a fairly common injury for wide receivers, and it can be a tough one to recover from.
A Jones fracture means there is a break at the base of the fifth metatarsal, which sits on the outside of the foot. This area of the foot doesn’t receive good blood flow, so the bone can be very slow to heal and re-fractures are common. Washington will undergo surgery to insert a screw into the affected area. This will help it to heal properly and in the correct position. For some athletes they play with the screw in their foot and don’t experience any issues. For others it eventually causes some irritation, and a simple procedure is performed to remove the screw (but this wouldn’t happen for awhile).
Washington has been given a recovery time of 6-10 weeks, but 8-12 is much more realistic. With a Jones fracture it’s important to wait until at least 10 weeks following surgery to return, although many athletes try to come back sooner. The rate of re-injury is much higher before hitting the 10 week mark.
According to our projections, Washington will remain in the High Risk category for the entire season due to the highly recurrent nature of Jones fractures. He has a good shot at returning for the second half of the season, but he may not be the same player we were expecting this year. The Cowboys need to look for added depth at WR due to their injury problems.
Other WRs to suffer Jones fracture: Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Deebo Samuel, DeVante Parker, Sammy Watkins, Julian Edelman