OTA nightmare scenario in Dallas

OTA nightmare scenario in Dallas
May 28, 2014, 9:45 am
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As teams enter Phase 3 of OTAs this week, they get a cautionary tale from Dallas about making sure “non-contact” remains “non-contact.”
 
Sean Lee, their productive but injury-prone middle linebacker, tore his left ACL on Tuesday defending a screen pass.
 
The play occurred late in the Cowboys first Phase 3 OTA. Lee moved out to the left to get contain on a screen and his left leg appeared to give as he did. Almost simultaneously, the falling Lee was blocked to the ground and landed on by rookie first-rounder Zack Martin. The contact was imminent as you can see here.
 
"I don't really know what happened," Martin told reporters. "Two guys playing hard, running to the ball. We'll see what happens. ... Hope for the best. He's obviously a great player, leader of the defense."
 
Candidly, nobody’s supposed to be “playing hard” right now.
 
The greatest physical risks posed during offseason drills are often from rookies full of piss and vinegar and eager to make an impression. The definition of non-contact needs to be drilled into their heads.
 
Two words Bill Belichick can be heard hollering during most any team offense vs. team defense period in the offseason. “Stay up!” A player on the ground is an injury risk to everyone around him and – if he’s off his feet – he either was moving too quickly to keep his balance or didn’t match the effort level of the guy he was going against.
 
At any rate, nobody should be blocked in a non-contact drill the way Martin was intending to block Lee. And while the ACL tear may have happened anyway, that Martin was about to envelop and put solid engagement on Lee is the fault of the Cowboys coaches
 
As for Lee, Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin columnist notes the injury risks Lee brought to the league from Penn State.

All the medical red flags raised about Lee’s fragility seem to be coming to fruition.