IRVING, Texas – It became even clearer Friday that Rolando McClain isn't likely to play Sunday.
McClain, who's dealing with a groin injury, was among a group of players absent from Friday's practice. That was shortly after owner/general manager Jerry Jones went on 105.3 FM "The Fan" and said he'll be doubtful to go this weekend.
"Well, you'll miss him," Jones said. "On the other hand, I think you can expect him probably not to play, but he won't tell you that. We're not sure when he had this injury – he might have had it early in the game. If you listen to him, he wants to play and thinks he might play, but we have him as doubtful, of course."
The others missing from practice Friday were defensive end Anthony Spencer (knee), defensive tackle Davon Coleman (calf) and linebacker Justin Durant (groin), while running back Joseph Randle returned from his concussion.
Spencer's off day Friday after two days of practicing wasn't a setback. Instead, it was just a day of rest as the defensive end makes his way back from microfracture knee surgery, according to Garrett, who said the off day was part of the plan. He wants Spencer to practice, but he knows he's got to keep the defensive end healthy.
Garrett said Spencer looked good Wednesday and Thursday wearing his pads, moving around, getting the football movements back and playing in some of the 5-on-4 and 11-on-11 situations. [embedded_ad]
"It's been a good start for him," Garrett said. "It hasn't been a lot of work, but just want to keep pushing him as much as we can and see how much he can handle. He won't do anything today, and we'll see how he does here over the weekend and into next week. But we certainly believe in practice for guys coming off injuries."
Garrett also said Durant's "had a good week" as he attempts to come back from his groin injury and that he'll do some work during the weekend. Garrett hopes Durant, who didn't practice this week, can return soon.
The coaches have credited Durant and McClain as the two top tacklers this season, despite Durant missing last week's game. If both linebackers can't go, rookie Anthony Hitchens will have to get ready in the middle.
"You've heard talk before about the flexibility and the versatility of those linebackers, so those guys have been trained at different spots," Garrett said. "We've been working some different combinations as the week has gone on. Hitch has been a part of that."