Last season, the Dallas Cowboys lost former All-Pro defensive tackle Jay Ratliff after he strained his hamstring during a conditioning test last July. He was then placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list prior to being released in October.
That one incident may have led Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett to change his stance on conditioning tests in general.
Two years after indicating that said tests are a necessity prior to putting players on the practice field during training camp, Garrett is changing his tune (via The Dallas Morning News).
I feel like it’s a recipe for disaster. We’ve had some issues in the past year,” he said. “I know teams around the league have had that, so I just told our players that we’re not going to do that.
This has been somewhat of a contentious point around the National Football League in recent seasons. The conditioning tests are there to make sure players are ready to practice in a higher-stress environment than what they are accustomed to during organized offseason activities.
Dallas changed course this year, enabling players to conduct their own conditioning tests prior to departing for camp in Oxnard, California. Other teams have instituted the very same plans over the course of the past couple seasons.
There is absolutely nothing worse than busting your butt all offseason long before coming up lame and injuring yourself right before training camp itself starts. You can expect more teams to stray away from old habits in the future, especially if more injuries start popping up.
Photo: USA Today