IRVING, Texas -When Jay Ratliff did not return for the start of the second half, just standing on the sidelines with his helmet in hand, it didn't look optimistic for the four-time Pro Bowl to return anytime soon.
But as the game went on, and the stakes started to rise, Ratliff decided to give it a try in the fourth quarter and was able to play in the last two defensive series.
That alone is considered a good sign for the Cowboys, in terms of his status for this week.
Ratliff had an MRI on Monday and initial reaction doesn't show a high-ankle sprain, but more of a traditional ankle sprain that would make his status "day-to-day."
The biggest concerned of the injury stemmed from the fact it's the same left ankle he suffered a high-sprain that caused him to miss the first four games of the season. Ratliff initially had the injury on Aug. 25 in the preseason game against the Rams, his first action after dealing with a nagging plantar fasciitis injury that plagued him early in camp.
Since his return from the first ankle injury, Ratliff has been playing well in the middle. He had four tackles each in his first two games against Baltimore and Carolina, where he also had three quarterback pressures. But he had seven tackles and three more pressures against the Giants last week. He was credited with a quarterback hit Sunday night before his injury.
The Cowboys are confident in backup Josh Brent, but like the rotation with Ratliff and Brent inside. They are also hopeful versatile lineman Sean Lissemore can return from a high-ankle sprain injury that has kept him out the last three weeks.