IRVING, Texas – Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff has a high ankle sprain and it’s not clear when he will be able to return to practice.
But Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wouldn’t rule out Ratliff for the season opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 5.
“We feel like he has a chance to practice at some point in the near future and possibly play in this ball game,” Garrett said Monday, two days after Ratliff was injured in the team’s third preseason game. “We just have to evaluate him day to day. He’s a tough guy like everybody knows and he’s made progress since the game.
“He’s not going to practice today and he’s not going to practice tomorrow. He probably won’t play in the [preseason] game on Wednesday, but we’ll see how he is as we start preparing for the Giants.”
Ratliff was on crutches as he exited the locker room at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday. Garrett said Monday that the four-time Pro Bowl selection was not wearing a protective boot.
If Ratliff cannot play in Week 1, the Cowboys will probably go with a combination of Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore.
“We play a variety of fronts, so as the game goes on, I would expect Josh Brent and Lissemore to play in his place, but that’s premature,” Garrett said. “We just want to see what his availability is the next couple of days, and hopefully he will be able to practice by week’s end.”