Jenkins Returns; Has More Confidence In Rehabbed Shoulder

IRVING, Texas - Mike Jenkins will enter Wednesday's season opener without any full contact since the regular season finale Jan. 1 against the Giants.

Jenkins returned to the practice field for the first time Sunday, where he was listed as a limited participant. He's still uncertain if he'll play in the opener after offseason shoulder surgery – which included repairs to his labrum and rotator cuff – but he's gaining confidence in his shoulder.

"I dont think nothing's going to happen to it," Jenkins said. "It's restructured. It's not coming out. It's a mental thing, as far as hitting. I may get a little pain in there, but that's just football."

Jenkins said it felt good to get his feet under him and work with the team for the first time this preseason. Still, he said after missing the preseason, it might take him a little while to return to the playing form he'd like to be in.

The Cowboys' final full-pads practice on Saturday didn't include Jenkins, who was cleared to practice but suffered an onset of migraines and sat out. The missed practice occurred one day after head coach Jason Garrett praised Jenkins for his mental and physical toughness last season, fighting through practices and games while battling injuries.

"He came in and just wasn't able to function as a person," Garrett said. "We tried our best to get that right. I guess he has some history with that in the past, so that was the biggest issue."

Jenkins said migraines have affected him since college, and he usually can detect and treat them before they become debilitating. He wasn't able to do that Saturday, but he said he's fine now and the migraines shouldn't be a factor moving forward.

Even if Jenkins is active Wednesday, it's unknown where and how often he would play.  Cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr have started on the outside throughout the preseason, and Jenkins said he's never played as a third cornerback in the slot.

"That's coaches' decision," Jenkins said. "I can't make a decision on that. Just come in and do my part, whatever that may be."

Owner Jerry Jones said Jenkins' status for the opener is still unclear, but he liked the way Jenkins practiced Sunday after the migraines.

"He clearly understood what he was dealing with yesterday, and the lingering effects of what he was dealing with yesterday had an impact today," Jones said. "But I was impressed with how he moved around in practice."

The Cowboys will practice again Monday before departing for New York on Tuesday. Garrett said during the preseason Jenkins would have to practice before playing in a game. It remains to be seen if Garrett's seen enough to allow Jenkins to play Week 1.

If Jenkins isn't ready, the Cowboys would go into MetLife Stadium with just Carr, Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick and Mario Butler at cornerback against two of the elite receivers in the game in Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.

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