Through five days worth of training camp practices, the New England Patriots have been spared any major injuries. The only real in-session scare came on Friday, when defensive lineman Byron Cowart stayed on the ground after a drill and had to be attended by trainers. While the rookie went off the field under his own power, he did not finish the session and has not been spotted during the three following practices as well.
However, it appears as if there is little cause for actual concern. According to the Boston Herald’s Kevin Duffy, Cowart is dealing with a quad injury — one that was subsequently described as ‘minor’ by The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. Based on this diagnosis, it would not be a surprise if he returned to practice sooner rather than later. And he better, considering that the fifth-round draft selection is currently on the roster bubble.
Cowart joined the Patriots as the 159th overall pick in this year’s draft and as such is not guaranteed a spot on the team’s deep defensive tackle depth chart. In order to earn the fourth and probably final spot at the position, the 23-year-old will need to prove his value as a versatile defender capable of penetrating from the interior. Getting back onto the practice field would be the first step in that direction.