After missing out on the entire 2020-2021 football season due to a hip injury, La’el Collins is finally ready to make his return. As previously reported by the Dallas Express, Collins played only one game in the 2021-2022 season before being suspended for five games amid accusations of bribery and violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

According to CBS Sports, Collins filed a request for an injunction to halt the suspension, hoping to return in time to play in week six’s game against the New England Patriots, but the federal judge denied his request.

Dallas Cowboys reported that when Collins returned to the team for week eight, game seven, against the Minnesota Vikings, he was not given his regular position as right tackle.

Terrance Steele had been filling in at RT while Collins was away, and for the sake of “continuity on the offensive line,” Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy kept Steele there. “Terence Steele started at right tackle like he has in each game this season and did well-protecting quarterback Cooper Rush while starter Dak Prescott was out.”

Collins reportedly spent week eight getting reps at both tackle and guard before playing in Kellen Moore’s wishbone set as a fullback to mark his return from suspension. Today, Steele remained in the starting lineup with Dak Prescott’s return against the Broncos.

LT Tyron Smith was injured during the Vikings game, opening the door for Collins to play RT again while Steele moved to the LT position. Ty Nsekhe came in for Smith in the Vikings game, but Steele has reliably protected Prescott all season. He has earned his playing time as the Cowboys pit their best five linemen against the Broncos.

The Cowboys have one of the best offenses in the league, with Steele in the starting lineup. Steele has proved to be a valuable asset to the roster as a swing tackle who can fill in for either Collins or Smith, and the Cowboys’ backup QB Cooper Rush proved himself capable of stepping in to win the game against the Vikings.

The Cowboys will soon face a decision on just how long Steele can stay in the starting lineup, now that Collins has made his return against the Denver Broncos.

Dallas aims to give Collins a chance to get comfortable at the right tackle spot before Smith returns to the lineup, hoping to pair the tackles together for the first time since week one. However, with Collins returning and Steele continuing to shine, the offensive line could continue to have a different look as the season continues.