Robert Quinn injured his left hand in training camp after competing against star left tackle Tyron Smith. It isn’t clear whether his hand got caught in Smith’s facemask or elbow brace, but the result is a fractured hand that will need surgery. He is expected to be ready before week 1 against the New York Giants.
With Quinn down for the count until the end of preseason, that leaves the door open for young players to make an impact and earn a spot on the team. Former first-round pick Taco Charleton, last year’s fourth-round pick Dorance Armstrong, and free-agent pickup Kerry Hyder will have their chances for playing time in this rotation for defensive guru Rod Marinelli.
Randy Gregory, former second-round pick back in 2015, has yet to officially file for reinstatement, but “wants to play football this season.” In his short suspension filled career, he has just 7 sacks, with 6 coming in 2018. If he were to be reinstated before Quinn comes back from injury, he would likely be on the back end of the defensive line rotation mixing in on third downs that have him rushing the passer more than guarding the run.
Dorance Armstrong has been a nice surprise so far in training camp, and with Quinn hurt, is in line for more work to build off an underwhelming rookie season that saw him play in 15 games, but just accrue 15 tackles and .5 sacks. But in training camp, he’s making waves, even beating All-Pro Tyron Smith in one on one drills.
From earlier in the day Dorance Armstrong beats Tyron Smith. pic.twitter.com/N2MrKUIW8T
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 2, 2019
On another note, first-round disappointment Taco Charleton has struggled to make a true impact since being taken in the first round by the Cowboys in 2018.