Rico Gathers, a second-year tight end was supposed to play a big role for the Cowboys, and the team expected a lot from him as Dallas was entering the training camp. However, he got a vicious blow in practice from Kavon Frazier, and he was put on the injured reserve list.
Executive Vice President Stephen Jones said that Gathers would stay on the list. He stated: “Probably the best thing for him is to start fresh in the offseason.” This is indeed the best solution since there are only a few games left this year and it is better for Gathers to recover fully. It appears that the injury is far more serious than it was thought at first.
Dallas paid Gathers $449,990 and just for comparison, NFL practice squad players can have a minimum salary of $117,300 per year. In other words, Gathers earned almost as much money as the 53rd player on the roster. He did play two preseason games and ended up with 106 receiving yards and two touchdowns. This guy is hard to stop and a valuable player that shouldn’t be rushed back from an injury.
With Gathers returning in 2018 season, Dallas will have a plenty of time to figure out what to do. Meanwhile, owner Jerry Jones was not satisfied with this decision: “Yeah, he’s missed a lot of time, and that’s all I can say.”
It’s not all bad for the Cowboys since Witten is still playing well, and with a healthy James Hanna and Geoff Swain, the tight-end corps is not bad at all. However, next year, both Hanna and Swaim’s contracts expire, and Gathers will spend much more time on the field.