IRVING, Texas – Jason Hatcher's hoping he won't be in street clothes on the sideline when he watches DeMarcus Ware's likely return to the defensive line against the Saints this weekend.
Hatcher left Sunday's game with a bad stinger and is still feeling the effects of that injury this week, missing Wednesday's practice. He answered with a personal response about his own health when asked if he was tired of seeing Ware have to be a cheerleader on the sideline every week with the thigh injury.
"Hopefully, I won't be a cheerleader this Sunday, to be honest with you," Hatcher said. "This thing is kind of stressful. I lost all the strength in my arm. It's getting better day by day. Hopefully, I'll be out there with D-Ware this weekend."
But it doesn't sound like that's a sure thing to happen at this point.
Hatcher said his stinger injury is different from Ware's one earlier in the year, in that he lost more strength in his arm. Hatcher described it as an odd situation, since it's never happened to him before. [embedded_ad]
"I've been Googling all that stuff on the Internet trying to learn it as much as I can," Hatcher said. "It's unfamiliar to me. I've never experienced anything like this, not being able to control my arm."
It would be a gigantic loss for the Cowboys if Hatcher, who leads the team in sacks with seven, isn't able to go. He said he's trying to stay as positive as he can and approach the week like he's playing.
In the meantime, he's making sure he stays off his left arm and limits any strenuous activity as much as possible to make sure he doesn't aggravate the injury. He said he couldn't control his arm at all after the game, and he believes it's a nerve issue.
"Hopefully, this nerve will get un-pissed off and give me my arm back by Sunday and I'll be ready to play," Hatcher said.
It's not easy for him to predict when he'll get the full feeling of strength back in his arm, with the pinching continuing in his neck. He did say the injury felt a lot better Wednesday than it did after the game Sunday.
"It's eating me away just to know I'm not where I want to be at," Hatcher said. "It's my home state. It's going to suck if I've got to sit this one out. I'm trying to do everything in my power to get ready."
In addition to playing in his home state of Louisiana, he's also going to be facing off against his former defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, a person he respects dearly and admires greatly for believing in him.
"We had a great relationship when he was here," Hatcher said. "It'll be good to talk to him after the game. Hopefully, I'll be playing."
If Hatcher can go, he'll be supporting a neck roll. He said he was stubborn for not wearing it last week, when he re-aggravated the stinger, but he felt the added weight takes away from his athleticism.
As the leader of the defensive line and the team's leader in sacks and quarterback pressures, he's going to do everything in his power to get on the field Sunday against New Orleans.
"I'm going to try my best," Hatcher said. "It's going to take hell to get me off this field."