A calf injury suffered in practice on Wednesday is expected to sideline Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory for multiple weeks.
Head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the news with reporters at practice on Thursday. Gregory sustained the injury while participating in one-on-one pass rush drills.
"You always feel terrible for the individual," McCarthy said. ... "He was one of our best players on defense. Our defensive players feed off of his activity."
Another blow for Cowboys pass rush
The injury leaves the Cowboys without their top two edge rushers for an extended period. DeMarcus Lawrence suffered a broken bone in his foot during a Week 2 practice and has been on injured reserve since. He's expected to return sometime this season, but his timetable is not clear.
The 6-2 Cowboys face the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints in their next four games. Rookie linebacker Micah Parsons filled in at defensive end earlier in the season before returning to his regular position. He's a candidate to do so again with Gregory out.
The injury's a tough blow for Gregory, who was in the midst of his breakout NFL season at 28 years old after suspensions stunted the first six years of his NFL career. In seven games this season — six of them starts — Gregory tied Parsons for the team lead with five sacks. He's also tallied 12 quarterback hits, 20 pressures, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
McCarthy didn't rule out putting Gregory on injured reserve, but the Cowboys haven't yet made that decision. Doing so would open up a roster spot for the Cowboys to sign a free agent and would require Gregory to miss a minimum of three weeks.