James Washington is facing his first true adversity as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. The former Pittsburgh Steelers wideout was carted off the field during Monday’s training camp practice. The injury is a Jones fracture to Washington’s foot, according to ESPN.
The 60th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Washington was signed by the Cowboys this offseason to help fill the void after the team traded four-time Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns. While he showed flashes of his potential in Pittsburgh, Washington found targets within the Steelers’ stacked receiving corps tough to come by. His career-high in targets in Pittsburgh (44) came during the 2019 season, a year when Mason Rudolph — Washington’s college quarterback at Oklahoma State — started more than half of the Steelers’ games following Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending injury.
Despite the lack of targets, Washington caught 114 passes and 11 touchdowns during his four years in Pittsburgh. He averaged an impressive 14.3 yards per catch that included a career-high 16.7 yards per reception during the ’19 season. He caught a career-high five touchdowns in 2020 while helping the Steelers capture the AFC North division title.
A native of Stamford, Texas, Washington enjoyed a standout college career at Oklahoma State. During his four years with the Cowboys, the 6-foot Washington caught 226 passes for 4,472 yards and 39 touchdowns. He won the Biletnikoff Award (given annually to the best college receiver in Division 1) in 2017 after catching 74 passes for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns.
While Washington’s injury is a gut punch, the Cowboys dodged another injury scare during Monday’s practice. Safety Jayron Kearse, after needing assistance to exit the field during practice, returned to the sideline moments later after being evaluated by the team’s medical staff.