An MRI of Justin Durant’s right biceps confirmed the bad news. While Jason Garrett isn’t ready to declare the tear in Durant’s arm will end the starting linebacker’s season, the Cowboys are in search of a linebacker to replace him on the roster.
“There have been a couple of guys [who have played with torn biceps] through the years,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday. “Kenny Norton played with it; Ray Lewis had a similar injury. It’s a serious injury. There’s no question about that. But we’ll sort out how much time is left in the season and what the options are. No reason to make any rash judgment right now. We’ll kind of let the chips fall a little bit and make the best decision for him and for our team.”
Chances are better than good Durant ends his second season in Dallas the same way he ended his first – on injured reserve. He missed six games last season with hamstring injuries, the second one season-ending.
Durant missed two games with a groin injury this season. He started six games at weakside linebacker and leads the team with 61 tackles. He had a team-leading 10 tackles, including three for loss, against the Redskins on Monday night before leaving in the second half.
“He played really well,” Garrett said. “He was really active in the game – around the ball a lot. He played really well and when you take a player like that out, he makes a big difference. But the first play Kyle Wilber is in there, he makes the tackle for a 1- or 2-yard gain. Those guys have played before and understand what their roles are to go in there and function. I thought he did a pretty good job.”
The Cowboys have six linebackers on their roster besides Durant, including two rookies and Cameron Lawrence, who has played only three defensive snaps.
Dallas also could be without left guard Ron Leary for the short term. Though tests ruled out a tear in his groin, according to Garrett, the pulled muscle will need time to heal.
Mackenzy Bernadeau, who replaced Leary on Monday night, has started 27 games for the Cowboys the past two seasons. But with only Bernadeau and Zack Martin healthy at the guard position, the Cowboys also might seek help there.