La’el Collins banned five games for violation of substance-abuse policy

A day after he returned for his first game since the 2019 season, La’el Collins will be sidelined for a while. The NFL handed the longtime Cowboys right tackle a five-game suspension Friday, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Collins came back from a neck injury to start against the Buccaneers, marking his return after a hip injury sidelined him throughout the 2020 season. But the seventh-year veteran will now be sidelined until Week 8, with Dallas’ bye coming in Week 7. Collins violated the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

This will be familiar territory for the Cowboys, who needed to use backup tackles for most of last season. UDFAs manned Dallas’ O-line edges for much of the 2020 slate, with Tyron Smith also missing 14 games due to injury. Both Smith and Collins were back at their posts Thursday night, and the Cowboys’ passing attack reignited with the blockers and Dak Prescott on the field again. The Cowboys will need to adjust, however.

Dallas added veteran swing tackle Ty Nsekhe this offseason and still rosters primary 2020 starter Terence Steele. Fellow 2020 emergency starter Brandon Knight is on Dallas’ reserve/COVID-19 list, joining All-Pro guard Zack Martin.

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