IRVING, Texas – As the baseball playoffs transition into the World Series, the term "pitch count" is used often in determining how long pitchers will stay in games.
But the phrase has shifted over into football as well, and is something Randy Gregory is already dealing with as he continues his return from a high-ankle sprain that caused him to miss four games.
Last week, Gregory said he was only expected to play 8-10 snaps, and definitely no more than 15 against the Giants. However, he only played eight and that was due to a "tweak" of the ankle injury that forced him off the field in the first half.
"I went back for one more play, but they pulled me back," Gregory said. "I didn't really know how limited I would be until I got out there. And then in the second half, there weren't many opportunities for me to rush."
On Wednesday, the rookie pass-rusher was asked about his progress from the injury. Gregory was able to practice and was not listed on the Cowboys' official injury report.
"I'm trying to get there," Gregory said. "It's sore, but I think I'll be alright."
More importantly, Gregory said he doesn't expect to be on a play-count this week.
"The main goal is for me to get out there as much as they can," Gregory said. "I try to make as big of an impact as I can when I'm out there. If it's eight plays, it's eight plays. If it's one play, it's one. They brought me in to rush the passer, and that's what I try to do. Last week, I didn't really get a chance to get into a rhythm. Hopefully I can do that."
A second-round pick from Nebraska, Gregory had a strong preseason, recording a sack in the first three games. He also made an impact in the season opener against the Giants before suffering the high-ankle sprain that sidelined him for five games.
Gregory is one of the more athletic defensive players on the team – a trait that will be needed when facing Seattle's mobile quarterback, Russell Wilson, who leads all NFL quarterbacks with 271 rushing yards.
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