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Ratliff Easing Back In, But Team Weighing Benefit Of More Rest

IRVING, Texas –Monday's practice at Valley Ranch wasn't a rough one, more like a light Friday session than anything, but it was encouraging for the team that nose tackle Jay Ratliff could participate.

Ratliff suffered a high ankle sprain in the "dress rehearsal" preseason game on Aug. 25, and had been sidelined for most of camp and the entire offseason before that while dealing with plantar fasciitis. The nose tackle began to wear down late last year, coaches attempting to give him additional plays off in several games, and the team will have to consider him durability in both the short term and the long term before allowing him back on the field, first in Wednesday's padded practice, and then Sunday in Seattle.

The four-time Pro Bowler got around on crutches for more than a week following his ankle injury against St. Louis, but is moving fine now.

"I watched him out there (Monday), and it's possible, but I can't tell you that one way or the other," team owner Jerry Jones said. "He's being very aggressive on it, and he's making really good progress. Now, is it the smart thing to do? Where he plays is very demanding, plus got a lot of flak going on in there, so you need, really, to be at a high level of health with your wheels inside there. So, I'm sure that'll weigh into it, more importantly just where he is as opposed to another week."

If Ratliff is indeed held out for the Seahawks game, signs point to a return at home against Tampa Bay on Sept. 23.

Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore split the reps at nose tackle with Ratliff out against the Giants.

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