OXNARD, Calif. –Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins will not rejoin the team in practice before the end of training camp, and is likely to miss the entire preseason.
Jenkins is now running and appears to be in good condition overall, but Dr. James Andrews, who performed his surgery, told the club his shoulder needs more time to heal following a check-up on Monday. His availability for the regular season opener at New York on Sept. 5 is also in some doubt, according to a source.
"That's what we're looking at, but I don't know. I'm not quite sure," Jenkins said. "Once I go back for my final clearances (I'll know)."
Jenkins is expected to see Andrews again in two to three weeks. He said the main issue remaining is strength in the shoulder. For the time being, he will continue to focus on his rehab with the Cowboys athletic trainers and strength coach Mike Woicik.
"I don't think we had any anticipation that he was going to be cleared to practice," head coach Jason Garrett said. "It was almost a check-up to see what his next timetable is ... Again, players heal differently, and we're hopeful that as he goes through this process, that can be speeded up and he's feeling better."
Garrett expressed only "guarded optimism" that Jenkins would be healthy in time to play in a preseason game.
If Jenkins is not ready to play by the beginning of the regular season, the Cowboys could elect to leave him on the Physically Unable to Perform list to save a roster spot. Likewise, he could be pulled off PUP before the start of the regular season, and remain inactive if he's not yet ready to play. Should he stay on PUP, he would not be eligible to return to action until Oct. 28 against the New York Giants.
The four-year veteran cornerback underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff at the very beginning of the offseason, but the Cowboys were disappointed when he did not participate in rehab at the team facility following the selection of Morris Claiborne in the first round of the draft. His recovery has lasted longer than anticipated.
Running back Felix Jones, who had a similar injury, sat out all Offseason Team Activities and minicamp, but was cleared to practice when camp began.
Claiborne, the projected starter opposite Brandon Carr, is also sitting out of practice for the time being with a mild MCL sprain. He missed every offseason practice while recovering from wrist surgery.
Fifth-year corner Orlando Scandrick has been working with the first team opposite Brandon Carr. C.J. Wilson, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Mario Butler, Teddy Williams and Lionel Smith have all received some second-team reps.
Garrett said he didn't believe it was time to being looking for outside help at cornerback.