The Cowboys have avoided a major blow to their special teams units, as coverage standout Danny McCray is expecting to return to practice in just a day or two following what at first appeared to be a fairly serious injury Thursday night.
The second-year safety said he could be back as early as Sunday or Monday, and didn't think he would miss next week's preseason game against Sunday, however the Cowboys may treat the injury with precaution.
"It just depends on how it feels when I get out," McCray said. "The way I'm recovering now, it's going pretty fast. So I should be back out there full speed pretty soon."
McCray said the pain was more to his ribs than his shoulder, however, X-rays were negative.
"It was just a real, real sharp pain," McCray said. "Of course, when something like that happens, it's hard to keep the worst out of your mind. That's what I was thinking, but when I went in and got it checked out, it was a lot better than I thought it was."
In other positive news on the injury front, center Andre Gurode practiced with the team for the first time since training camp began, and nose tackle Jay Ratliff worked back in a week after suffering a hip injury that kept him out of practice and Thursday's game.
Gurode, the nine-year veteran who has now been with the Cowboys longer than any player on the roster, resumed his position with the first-team offensive line, but also rotated with second-year pro Phil Costa and received some work with the backups.
Forced to seek outside medical attention during the NFL lockout, Gurode said he wasn't injury until late in the offseason, and had the cartilage clean-up performed as quickly as possible. The Cowboys placed him on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list to start camp.
Cornerback Mike Jenkins, who has been sitting out contact drills and didn't play Thursday night, was also back on the field for Saturday's no-pads practice, but continued to sit out the team portions of the workout.
Sitting out the session were running backs Tashard Choice (calf), tight end Martellus Bennett (hamstring), linebacker Keith Brooking (hamstring), guard Montrae Holland (knee, back), safety Danny McCray (shoulder), cornerback Terence Newman (groin) and wide receiver Teddy Williams (hamstring).
Running back DeMarco Murray (hamstring), linebacker Bruce Carter (knee) and kicker Kai Forbath (quad) remain on NFI.