The NFL offseason is a time for practice squad members and depth players to prove that they are worth a spot on the roster. Unfortunately, it can also be a time when players get injured. That’s exactly what happened to Dallas Cowboys practice squad linebacker Devante Bond during OTAs.
On Thursday, Bond suffered a knee injury that will require surgery and force him to miss the 2022 season. As of Friday evening, the exact injury had not been revealed to the public. The linebacker spent 2021 on the Cowboys’ practice squad after spending time with both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears. He signed a reserve/futures contract with Dallas in January.
This is a big blow to an already weak linebacker room. This depth chart suffered majorly last year with both Covid cases and injuries. Obviously, Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons leads the charge. However, Leighton Vander Esch hasn’t been his best self since his first year, Jabril Cox is coming off of a major injury, Luke Gifford mostly contributed on special teams, and Damone Clark could be out the entire year.
Keanu Neal, who was converted to a linebacker, is now on the Bucs and Francis Bernard is still technically a free agent. This leaves cause for concern for this position group.
Cowboys linebacker Devante Bond suffers season-ending surgery during OTAs that will require surgery
Bond entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick by the Bucs in the 2016 NFL Draft. In four seasons, he has only started in six games. The LB has 39 tackles, one tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits to his name since entering the league.
With many changes in the linebacker room and the uncertainty around the edge rusher position, the 28-year-old had a real chance to make the roster this season. The Cowboys have decisions to make and may see some young linebackers picking up the pieces. Draft pick Devin Harper and UDFAs Storey Jackson and Aaron Hansford have a big opportunity to earn a spot on this roster now.
Hopefully, Bond is able to get himself back on the field in 2023. In the mean time, we wish him a safe surgery and speedy recovery.