The Cowboys got good news on the injury front regarding rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne, who underwent an MRI on his left knee Friday night after tweaking it on Wednesday. MRI results showed no major damage, just a minor MCL sprain, meaning he will miss about a week, if not longer.
“I’m happy it's nothing too serious,” Claiborne said after Saturday’s walk-through practice. “I’m still hoping to play in the first (preseason) game.”
The Cowboys don’t kick off the exhibition season until Aug. 13 in Oakland, and while the Cowboys might not plan for their No. 1 draft pick to play, Claiborne, who missed all of the offseason with a wrist injury, is holding out hope. This first week of practice has been critical as he adjusts to the NFL game.
“He’s done a good job here this week,” coach Jason Garrett. “This is a setback, but hopefully he can make it back sooner than later.”
Coale, Bernadeau off PUP: Two players who passed their conditioning test and should be back this week include guard Mackenzy Bernadeau and wide receiver Danny Coale. Neither have been able to participate much this offseason. Bernadeau , signed in March from Carolina as a projected starter, has missed all of the offseason after undergoing hip surgery in May.
Coale broke a bone in his foot during the first OTA practice in May. The Cowboys lost two receivers in the last day, including rookie Cole Beasley, who informed the team he no longer wants to play football, and Saalim Hakim, who suffered a chipped bone in his finger.
Two players seeing a hand specialist: RB Phillip Tanner and WR Saalim Hakim are both returning to Dallas on Sunday to see the same hand specialist. Tanner broke a bone on his right hand after colliding with a helmet, and Hakim suffered his finger injury while blocking.
“The challenge for both of those guys is they catch the ball and carry the ball,” Garrett said. “A lot of the hand injuries become an issue for them.”
Garrett was informed of a story about Emmitt Smith suffering a similar hand injury such as Tanner and was able to return to play the next week. While Garrett never compares players or situations, he is certainly hoping Tanner’s injury and return can be similar.
Hatcher, Spencer likely out for scrimmage: Garrett wouldn’t reveal all of the players who will or won’t participate in Sunday’s intra-squad scrimmage, but he ruled out both defensive end Jason Hatcher (hamstring) and outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (hamstring). Both players suffered the injuries in the last two days. Spencer said sitting out is more precautionary, and Garrett indicated a similar stance on Hatcher.