Frederick announced on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome. The Cowboys, All-Pro Center issued a statement through Twitter regarding his situation then:
Per the Mayo Clinic, Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease that attacks nerves, with weakness and tingling in extremities among some of the symptoms. Frederick had been seeking medical treatment for stingers earlier last week before he was officially diagnosed. The team had already planned to shut him down for the remainder of the preseason before the official diagnoses came in.
A first-round pick, 27th overall, in 2013, Frederick hasn’t missed a regular season snap in his career. Often viewed by a rather wide margin as the best center in pro football, having been a four-time Pro Bowler and achieved first team All-Pro honors in 2016 with second-team honors in 2014 and 2015. Fredrick truly is one of the main ingredients of the Cowboys rush attack and the catalyst for their elite level of their interior pass blocking. Guard Zack Martin has also never played an NFL snap without Frederick by his side.
Additionally, Frederick signed a massive six-year, $56.4 million extension before the 2016 season, which made him the highest-paid center in the league.
We also must note that mild cases of Guillain Barre Syndrome can be taken care of quickly, but serious cases can take months to recover from. The fact that Frederick is a very well conditioned athlete and that they caught it early should also help in his favor.
Dr. Spencer Miller, a neurologist at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, said Guillain Barre Syndrome likely will not threaten Frederick’s NFL career. Only 2 out of every 100,000 people with the syndrome have a reoccurrence. Once the nerves are healed, they’re healed. But could take one to two months.
In the meantime, the Cowboys have made clear that backup center Joe Looney will take over the first team reps in Frederick’s absence. Looney hasn’t started a regular season game since 2016. Zack Martin is considered an “emergency” center if Looney were to get hurt.
Obviously, losing Frederick for at least a few weeks is a massive blow for the Cowboys in both running the ball and in pass protection. Frederick really is a irreplaceable piece for Dallas, and will likely cause a bit of a butterfly effect for the entire offense. Until they figure out some chemistry on the line, there could be some tough series for the offense to start the season.