Mid-Day Report: Claiborne Expects To Return Saturday


OXNARD, Calif. – Morris Claiborne expects to be able to return to practice Saturday after the off day Friday.

Claiborne was present at the walkthrough Thursday to get mental reps, but knee tendinitis will force him out of the afternoon practice. He said he didn't need X-rays on the knee, and he knew immediately what the pain was.

"I've had it for a while now," Claiborne said. "Ever since I got in the league, I've had it. It's something that you have to just try to manage as best as you can, take care of it as best as you can. I kind of made it mad yesterday. I got stuck in the grass and aggravated it a little bit. Just a little sore. Use this day and tomorrow and the off day, and I'll be back to practice."

Claiborne said he sustained the injury while defending when he got his foot stuck in the ground as he jumped, causing his knee to go numb. He said the most important thing for getting the knee healthy is just taking the time, but he won't be missing much if he can get back to practice in two days as he plans.

Injuries have held Claiborne back since he got in the league, particularly ones that delay his progress in the offseason and preseason.

"But I can't put my head down," Claiborne said. "I've got to keep it going where it's at. I've got to keep it level, keep my intensity, keep my head and my confidence. I've got to be up."

The third-year corner has had a strong start to camp and has emitted a certain level of confidence no one had seen in his first two years in the league. He stayed engaged at Thursday's walkthrough and isn't trying to let the latest injury get him down. 

"I knew I wasn't going to be out here in the afternoon practice, but I'm still going to come out fully dressed and participate in the walkthroughs and whatever I can participate in later on," Claiborne said. "I feel good. I feel confident in where I'm at. I need some more work, just like us as a team, we need more work. But so far I can't complain."

Here are more hits from early Thursday at head coach Jason Garrett's press conference:

  • Ronald Leary's missed every practice of camp thus far with a hamstring injury, but Garrett anticipates Leary doing individual drill work and to be ready to go more fully Saturday. Garrett said it's disappointing Leary's missed snaps, but he still believes there's a lot of opportunity for him to show up in the competition at left guard with Mackenzy Bernadeau.
  • Similarly to Claiborne, fellow former LSU athlete J.C. Copeland also got his knee banged up yesterday and won't practice today. Garrett didn't sound overly concerned that the injury would keep him out long, either.
  • Tony Romo's gotten some time to rest throughout camp, but Garrett said he'll practice today after practicing yesterday. He believes the quarterback will continue to progress as camp goes on.
  • Garrett thought the morning walkthrough was just "OK," and he told his players that. He said the players get more information at camp every day and need to process it and move on, but it shouldn't make the walkthroughs sloppy and they should correct what needs to be corrected in meetings.
  • Brandon Carr's mother passed away Wednesday morning, and the corner's been given as much time as he needs to deal with that with his family. Garrett said he's taking care of arrangements and should make his appearance at camp in the next couple days.
  • Always looking at who we have on our roster. Want to make sure to give everybody on roster a great chance, but competition isn't only among 90 guys here, it's with standard we need to play at. If someone on street, we're open to bring him in at any position, certainly at positions we're banged up. [embedded_ad]
  • Garrett also commended Claiborne's great start to camp. He said he's been competing well and complemented how he's done coming back off other injuries. He hopes to see him this weekend.
  • DeMarcus Lawrence is having surgery early this afternoon in Dallas and is expected back with the team in Oxnard Friday or Saturday.
  • Garrett thinks Zack Martin has an "old school offensive lineman" vibe about him that both Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith also possess. By that, he sees a level of maturity and mental and physical toughness that he believes is contagious.
  • When asked about Josh Brent, Garrett said his hope first is that Brent gets his life back in order. He said he can't imagine what Brent must have been feeling since the tragic night and that he needs to know the Cowboys support him as a person. He added that he does believe Brent's a football player and has football ahead of him. 
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