IRVING, Texas – Morris Claiborne participated in the early going of practice on Thursday morning, but he said it doesn't look likely he'll be able to play against the Bills this weekend.
"I'll probably be down," Claiborne said. "I just did individual, trying to get it warmed up, trying to get it to go – but no."
Claiborne was inactive for last weekend's loss to the Jets after straining his hamstring in Green Bay on Dec. 13 -- the same hamstring he injured on Nov. 15 against Tampa Bay. Claiborne missed two games following the initial injury, but he returned to play against Washington and the majority of the game against the Packers.
If he is in fact inactive on Sunday in Buffalo, it will be his fourth total absence of the season. That's not as many games as he missed in 2013 – or in 2014, when he tore his patellar tendon just one month into the season. But the fact still remains that Claiborne has only appeared in 40 of 64 possible games during his four-year stint in Dallas.
"It is what it is. It's just one of those sports. You could be healthy, and then the next day something can be wrong with you," he said. "I just take the strong start that I had and just try to keep going as much as I can. But I know that right now there's not much I can do – it's out of my hands."
Even if he can't go against the Bills, Claiborne isn't ready to declare his season over. The Cowboys still have their season finale to play against Washington on Jan. 3, and Claiborne said he has every intention of trying to suit up.
"I was looking forward to playing this week, but as the week went on it wasn't getting better for me," he said. "So I'm just going to try it over next week."
The next few months will be an interesting stretch of Claiborne's career. Picked No. 6 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he didn't have the fifth-year option picked up on his rookie contract and will be a free agent when the next league year begins in March.
Claiborne said he's hopeful he'll be able to play against Washington next week, but not because of any impending contract talks. Regardless of the team's record, he said he wants to be able to help his teammates in as many games as possible.
"I was really trying to get back for this game – not just in the hopes of getting back to play, but I know my teammates, my guys are out there fighting," he said. "I know they want to fight until the end, no matter what everything looks like. I'd rather be out there with them. Like I said, if I can go, I'll go – if I can't, I can't."