Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick missed all of the 2018 season after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome during the offseason. Guillain-Barre is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the nerves, resulting in rapid-onset muscle weakness. The recovery time period varies wildly, but luckily the Cowboys and Frederick found it early, and he was able to recover throughout the season.
The Cowboys have maintained that they expect Frederick to not only return to football, but to resume his stardom, and so far, it's apparently looking good on that front. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said this week that Frederick's recovery is going very well, and that he is progressing through the team's offseason program.
"It's been great. He's done so well," Garrett said, per Pro Football Talk's Charean Williams. "We talked about this a lot last year when he was out last year and not able to play, just the impact that he had, the leadership that he demonstrated, not only with the offensive line but with the offense and with our whole team. He just did a fantastic job. And towards the end of the year he started feeling better and better.
"He's been able to go through our entire offseason program up to this point. He was on the field with the guys last week. It was good to see him out there in a stance, running football plays. He looks really good. He's an outstanding player and an outstanding person for us. He's been a great leader for us. Excited to get him back."
That's great news for both Frederick and the Cowboys. Frederick has become arguably the best center in the league after being drafted with the No. 31 overall pick back in 2013. After making the Pro Bowl for and being named a Second Team All-Pro in back-to-back seasons, he was signed to a six-year, $56.4 million extension in 2016. He then made the Pro Bowl again in 2016, while being named a First Team All-Pro. He made his fourth straight Pro Bowl in 2017 before missing all of last season due to Guillain-Barre syndrome.
The Cowboys saw backup center Joe Looney fill in admirably for Frederick last season as they won the NFC East, but surely getting one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL back in the lineup will be a major boon to their offensive success in 2019. And if Frederick can stay healthy and resume a long, productive career, that's even better.