Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith will be out indefinitely after suffering an avulsion fracture in his left knee that will require surgery, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Cowboys’ LT Tyron Smith’s hamstring tore and came off the bone, per sources. He could have surgery as early as today, pending meeting with doctors. He is out indefinitely, and is unlikely to return before December. <a href="https://t.co/t5HPYHB1D9">https://t.co/t5HPYHB1D9</a>
Rapoport noted the injury is similar to the one suffered by New York Jets tackle Mekhi Becton, and the earliest Smith might be able to return is December "if he's back at all" this season.
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
This is similar to the injury suffered by <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jets</a> OT Mekhi Becton. A return by December is possible if all goes perfectly well. But you can tell by his reaction how serious it was. <a href="https://t.co/NxZdv7oscV">https://t.co/NxZdv7oscV</a>
Smith exited Wednesday's practice with what was believed to be a knee injury and underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the damage, according to ESPN's Todd Archer (h/t Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk).
A concerning video posted to Twitter showed Smith grabbing his knee after barely making contact with another player during practice. He walked off the field alongside trainers.
"He gave me a nice, reassuring grunt like he usually does," Cowboys guard Connor McGovern said Wednesday, per Archer. "That's the one thing playing next to him for so long, I can decipher his grunts. I think he's all right."
Archer later reported Smith's ACL "is intact after initial review.".
Smith had already been dealing with an ankle ailment this summer that he suffered in joint practices with the Denver Broncos last week.
The eight-time Pro Bowler has a pretty lengthy injury history and was often not a full participant in practices during the 2021 campaign because of knee and ankle injuries, in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.
Smith appeared in 11 games last season and missed time on two separate occasions because of ankle issues.
During the 2020 campaign, he appeared in just two games because of neck injuries. He hasn't played a full season since 2015.
While injuries have slowed him down, he's still one of the best left tackles in the league, having earned eight Pro Bowl selections over his 11-year career, including five coming in seasons he appeared in 13 games or less.
The depth behind Smith is cause for concern, as the Cowboys opted to release veteran La'el Collins earlier this offseason. Josh Ball, Matt Waletzko and Aviante Collins could be in line to see more playing time when the season begins since it sounds like Smith will be unavailable.
The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.