The Dallas Cowboys have placed tight end Rico Gathers on injured reserve.
Gathers has been in concussion protocol and this move does not come as a surprise. Gathers won’t be eligible for game action for at least eight weeks. He can return to practice after six weeks.
Gathers, the former Baylor basketball standout turned tight end, made the Cowboys’ initial 53-man roster on Sunday. He had to spend at least a day on it before being moved to IR to keep him eligible to play this season.
But this opens up a spot on the Cowboys’ roster. It could possibly be used to bring back quarterback Kellen Moore, who was released this weekend. The Cowboys still like Moore as a possible backup to Dak Prescott. Cooper Rush is the backup for now.
For Gathers, though, this is a setback. He had a nice training camp and preseason going until the injury. He caught touchdown passes in the first two games, and coach Jason Garrett raved about his journey from “rebounds to touchdowns” on Monday.
“Rico continues to make strides,” Garrett said. “It’s really a great story. A guy hasn’t played football since junior high. And we have talked about him a lot. Just the strides he made last year. Last year was really important year for him to get in and just get playing. One thing we like most about him, as my dad would say, you can hit him in the face with a shovel and he keeps coming back. That’s what he did.
“He is obviously in a really good room, watching Jason Witten take the first rep of every drill. That is a good model to have. But he has really embraced the opporunity.”