IRVING, Texas – Linebacker Anthony Spencer’s pectoral injury might be worse than originally anticipated.
Spencer and center Ryan Cook were the only starters not suited up during the media portion of Wednesday’s practice. Spencer stood on the sidelines while Cook joined a group of Cowboys participating in rehab stretches and drills off to the side with strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik.
Linebacker DeMarcus Ware and wide receiver Miles Austin were among that group, but they were wearing pads and likely participated in practice, at least on a limited basis. Both Ware and Austin suffered hamstring injuries during training camp.
Wide receiver Kevin Ogletree was also believed to have a minor hamstring issue, but he was able to practice.
“You’re managing a lot of guys on your team,” said head coach Jason Garrett. “Once you get into the season, guys are always dealing with little nagging-type injuries. You manage them through practice a little bit, and hopefully you get them ready to do their best work on Sunday afternoons. We have to do that at practice at the receiver position, but really throughout our team.”
Along with Cook, center Kevin Kowalski (ankle) and wide receiver Danny Coale (hamstring) were the only other Cowboys working with Woicik without pads. Coale’s injury opened a spot on the practice squad for wide receiver Raymond Radway this week.
Both punters weren't around for the media portion of practice. Chris Jones is nursing a knee injury he suffered against Tampa Bay, while Brian Moorman hurt his groin in practice.
The rest of the Cowboys, including defensive linemen Jay Ratliff and Kenyon Coleman and center Phil Costa, were out at practice.
“Any time you’re bringing a player back from an injury, you’ve got to be careful how you use him that first game back,” Garrett said. “You heard us talk in the preseason about a progression of plays we want guys to play in preseason Game 1 and preseason Game 2. It’s no different when a guy like Ratliff comes back into a regular season game. Obviously we want him out there as much as we can, but we’ve got to make sure he’s ready to handle that workload.”
Garrett said the strong play of defensive linemen Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore early in the season makes handling Ratliff’s return more manageable.
“Obviously, you want to get Rat in there,” Garrett said. “He’s an outstanding player, one of our best players, one of the best players at his position in this league, so we want to get him out there. But, we also know the situation he’s in and we have some alternatives.”