IRVING, Texas – For the second time this season, Rolando McClain was back at practice Friday after spending the week away from the field.
McClain worked his way back into the action on what his typically considered the lightest practice day of a game week – a good sign for the Cowboys' prospects of using him Sunday against Seattle.
This isn't the first time McClain has worked his way back from a groin injury during the course of the week. He missed Wednesday and Thurday practices in the week leading up to the Saints game in Week 4, before he ultimately practiced Friday and played in that game.
"I don't know that I'm able to make a direct comparison, but he's been in this situation before, where he's gotten more and more work as the week has gone on," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
It's not that McClain has been idle, however. Garrett said the Cowboys' starting middle linebacker has managed to participate in team walkthroughs in preparation for the Seahawks, and being able to take the field Friday is usually a good gauge for a player's availability during the weekend.
"We have walkthrough formats during the day that, hopefully guys who aren't able to practice fully, can get some reps in, and he's done that in weeks where he hasn't been able to practice," Garrett said. "By Friday, you like to have them moving around and in the game, I think it was against New Orleans, he was able to do more."
McClain initially suffered the groin injury in the Week 2 win against the Titans. He sat out of the comeback win in St. Louis, but he hasn't missed a start since – though he did re-aggravate the injury in the waning moments of the Houston game last weekend. It remains to be seen how the injury will affect his availability going forward.
"Rolando's situation is simply because he's dealing with an injury. It's our job, as best we can – coaches and medical staff – to kind of get him to a point where he can play his best on Sunday," Garrett said. "When you have to deal with an injury, sometimes you miss practice time to do it."
A new name did show up on the absentee list, however. Defensive end Jack Crawford was absent after participating all week.
[embedded_ad] The rest of the Cowboys' injury news was to be expected. Bruce Carter and Cameron Lawrence once again missed practice, all but ruling them out for the weekend. Even with the return of McClain, the Cowboys have just five healthy linebackers on the roster. It remains to be seen if they'll once again activate Keith Smith from the practice squad for the trip to Seattle.
Elsewhere, Jermey Parnell returned to the field after missing two days with sore ribs, and Tyler Patmon returned after missing Thursday with an illness.