With so many weeks to watch and wait on the teams' injury fronts, these next few days feel like the end of a race.
The news coming out of New Jersey on Monday morning is that Giants receiver Victor Cruz returned to practice. The Giants' top receiving threat, who signed a six-year contract extension this summer, went through his first practice since a bruised heel sidelined him back on Aug. 18.
Meanwhile, at Valley Ranch, guard Ronald Leary worked his way back into the lineup with the Cowboys. Perhaps to avoid tipping their cards to New York, the Cowboys had Leary working in a variety of combinations – including with both Doug Free and Mackenzy Bernadeau as his partner at guard. [embedded_ad]
Injuries are a constant part of football, and the Cowboys (along with every other team) will continue to lose and regain players throughout the season. But once the grind of the campaign begins, it becomes a little faster with just six days between games.
The four-month buildup to this moment, when these division rivals play the second of four primetime NFL games this coming week, makes these injuries feel all the more urgent. Every injury conversation since the Cowboys opened training camp has revolved around whether the player in question would be ready for New York.
Well, we're going to learn the answer pretty soon. The Giants got their second-best offensive player back in the lineup on Monday. Defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Damontre Moore also returned to the fold recently.
Last week, the Cowboys got cornerback Morris Claiborne back into the mix, and Leary's return instills a little hope for a deeper offensive line in time for kickoff.
With all those marquee names accounted for, there's one more name Cowboys and Giants fans will be waiting to hear – Pro Bowler Anthony Spencer.
Running back Lance Dunbar is still unaccounted for, as well. But at this point, it looks like Spencer is the last big name whose game day fate is still undecided.