OXNARD, Calif. – Byron Jones was feeling good enough to participate in walkthrough Monday morning, roughly 18 hours after injuring his left shoulder in practice. It remains to be seen what that means for practice.
"We'll see," he said. "We'll talk to the trainer, we'll see how I feel, we'll see how he feels and we'll go from there."
It was a scary moment for the rookie corner, who collided with Morris Claiborne on Sunday afternoon and exited practice after having his left shoulder examined. Jones injured the same shoulder last fall during his senior season at UConn, which made it even more concerning.[embeddedad0]
"I was worried. I was worried about the shoulder, because you don't hit it that hard too often," he said. "I was worried, but after I got up and moved around for a little bit, it felt fine."
Jones said he hasn't had an MRI or an X-Ray on the injury, but Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he's scheduled to have one.
"He's going to get an MRI and we'll find out more, but he seemed to be in good spirits," Garrett said. "We've just got to see what the information is."
If the rookie can't practice Monday afternoon, it'll leave the Cowboys in a bit of a bind at the cornerback spot. Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick are still missing with injuries, and Morris Claiborne is still somewhat limited during certain periods of practice.
Garrett said they'll make it work, one way or another.
"Hopefully Byron can go today – we'll see," he said. "We'll have enough guys out there. Injuries provide opportunity."
Here are some more news and notes to come out of Monday's press conference:
- Garrett said Tyrone Crawford and Anthony Hitchens will once again be absent when the Cowboys practice against the Rams on Monday afternoon. This is the second-straight absence for the duo. Hitchens was held out of Sunday's practice with a sore foot, while Crawford is nursing a back problem.
- Garrett said running backs Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar could begin working into some team reps in practice as they gradually increase their practice workloads following injury
- Cowboys defensive end Kenneth Boatright returned to Dallas to see specialists for his neck and back. Boatright suffered a neck injury in practice on Aug. 6, and spent three days in a local Oxnard hospital before returning with his team for nearly a week. Boatright remains on the 90-man roster but it's unlikely he will be able to play in a preseason game this Sunday or next week vs. Minnesota (Aug. 29).
- Garrett mentioned a couple of nice perks for the nine winners of the Cowboys' offseason program who graded out the best over the nine-week spring period: golf cart rentals to get around the Oxnard training camp complex and designated parking spots back at Valley Ranch. "The golf carts were something they were kind of begging for, and so we pulled it off," Garrett said. The nine players recognized (four on offense, four on defense, one on special teams) are: All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith, running back Lance Dunbar, tight end Jason Witten, wide receiver Cole Beasley, safety Jeff Heath, cornerback Tyler Patmon, linebacker Kyle Wilber, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and punter Chris Jones. Smith, Dunbar, Heath, Wilber and Witten are repeat winners from 2014.
- Garrett applauded the readiness of three players who joined the team over the weekend. On Saturday, the Cowboys signed running backs Michael Hill and Ben Malena, and then added receiver David Porter on Sunday. All three contributed right away, which caught Garrett's eye. "We needed guys to carry the football. But there's a real credit to the guys we brought in. They were in shape, ready to go, had good practices. It's a real tribute to those guys. And (Porter) is another one of those young guys that was ready. He came out to practice and caught three touchdown passes. A tribute to him to come out and pick things up quickly."