The Cowboys were sounding optimistic about getting Matt Johnson into a game for the first time. But yet another hamstring injury is going to sideline the rookie safety again.
The Cowboys on Friday listed Johnson as out for this weekend’s game against Carolina. Johnson left the practice field with a trainer during the media period and didn’t return by the time reporters left.
For Johnson, it is a third hamstring injury since he was drafted in the fourth round out of Eastern Washington.
Speaking before practice Friday, coach Jason Garrett said Johnson had looked good in two weeks of practices since being cleared from a previous hamstring and a back injury.
“He’s looked good. He really has,” Garrett had said. “Everything that we’ve seen from him when he’s been on the practice field, we’ve been encouraged about. And he’s had a couple weeks of practice with us coming back here these last two weeks, and I think he’s getting better and better. ... A lot of what we saw in the draft we’ve seen on the practice field, so hopefully we can inch him along and maybe get him some opportunities this week.”
Johnson’s tale is a mix of bad luck and injury.
He practiced at the rookie minicamp in April, but he couldn’t work during the OTAs because his school hadn’t held commencement.
He made it back in time for one veteran minicamp practice, but he hurt his hamstring there, and it lasted until training camp.
He got into two padded practices and one preseason game, but he hurt his other hamstring in that game.
Then he suffered a back injury lifting weights, keeping him out another few weeks.
He finally returned to practice last week, and although he was inactive for the Baltimore game, the Cowboys wanted to get him action against Carolina.
The injured reserve list looks more likely now.
-- Carlos Mendez