IRVING, Texas – Getting back to the field after a layoff of more than a year is a feat in itself.
Now, Anthony Spencer is focused on doing it again. And again, and again and so on.
That's the nature of all NFL players, but especially veterans such as Spencer, one of only two defensive players at least 30 years of age. And the fact Spencer is coming off microfracture knee surgery, one of the toughest injuries to return from, makes it even more of a journey for the veteran pass-rusher.
Spencer knows there were some who thought he wouldn't play again, especially this soon. But he made his 2014 debut last week against the Saints, recording three tackles and a quarterback pressure. Spencer did that in a limited role on defense as a situational rusher.
While he hopes to increase those snaps as he gets back into football shape, Spencer seemed rather happy with his ability to practice this week without any issues.
"I felt pretty good afterwards," Spencer said. "No problems – I was able to come out and practice. I'm just trying to get a little better each day. You don't want to push too hard but still come out and try to make progress. It's not an easy balance but the (athletic trainers) do a great job. They know when to push and back off."
From the standpoint of a coach, Spencer looked like he's on his way to returning to form.
[embedded_ad] "He had 22 snaps in the game and came out of it I think feeling good from a health standpoint but also mentally," head coach Jason Garrett said. "He felt like it went well, that his leg was there for him, saw him make some plays down the field, chasing the ball and making some tackles. I think he has a good feeling about where he was getting started, coming back and hopefully he'll continue to go."
Injury or not, Spencer said improving your craft – whether it's technique or awareness or anything else needed to play the position at a high level – is always the top agenda.
"There's things I need to work on. I just want to progress throughout the year," Spencer said. "Even when I was healthy, there were things I' was working in and trying to get better. It's a process. You never really to a stopping point."