IRVING, Texas – For Morris Claiborne, the right is right and the left is wrong.
Claiborne, who had surgery on his left wrist prior to his rookie year, isn't a full participant during Organized Team Activities after surgeries on his left pinky and his left shoulder during the offseason.
"I'm just doing what they ask me to do until I'm free, they let me loose," Claiborne said. "A couple months in on my shoulder, so they're just waiting. I don't really know, you have to ask them really what they're doing, because I feel like I'm ready to go. But I've got to do what those guys tell me to do."
Claiborne calmly answered questions after watching the majority of the first OTA practice of the season Tuesday from the sideline. Even though he sat out during team drills, he said he's not frustrated because he can't control it.
The pinkie injury Claiborne had surgery on was actually the result of a break that occurred back in his rookie year. He said he hasn't been cleared by the trainers yet and he's not sure when he'll be cleared, despite feeling like he's ready to go.
"At this point, I'm still waiting to hear the word," Claiborne said. "All I can do is do what I can do, that's continue to work out, continue getting stronger and do what's asked of me."
Claiborne's no stranger to injuries, particularly early in the year. He missed a game his rookie year and six games last season, dealing with hamstring, wrist, knee, shoulder and finger injuries at different points. Claiborne was limited during the preseason last year with a knee injury and immediately hurt his shoulder when the 2013 season began. [embedded_ad]
Head coach Jason Garrett said Claiborne was held out of team drills in OTAs to avoid situations where he's competing with someone off the ball. He said Claiborne will be evaluated each day coming off surgeries to see if he can do more.
"You want players to play, there's no question about that," Garrett said. "Mo has had to deal with whatever it has been over the first couple years of his career. He's also played a lot of football for us too. He's done a great job this offseason of coming back. He looks physically stronger to us. He's moving around really well. We just want to do the right thing by him as we get going in these OTAs. "
Despite missing time on the field and only participating in individual drills early in OTAs, Claiborne said he's not limited much in the weight room. He said he added muscle but trimmed down in the offseason in an effort to stay as fast as possible. Last year, he said he tried to gain weight and that didn't work out.
He hopes this season the injuries will be behind him, but no one ever plans for them to occur.
"You just have to go with it, whatever road block's ahead of you, you've just got to go with it and find the best way to get through it," he said. "I'm doing everything I can to try to stay healthy, and hopefully… I can be on the field long-term."
Claiborne said he's hardly had an offseason at all. In an effort to prevent injuries and stay as fit as possible, he said he's been working non-stop since his surgeries at Valley Ranch every day.
"Once I got the surgery over with, I knew I had a new shoulder," Claiborne said. "It wasn't bothering me like it was, wasn't coming out. Just trying to right now get it stronger and get back on the field."