Source: Ratliff could miss 4 weeks

Source: Ratliff could miss 4 weeks

Published Aug. 26, 2012 1:22 a.m. ET

ARLINGTON, Texas — Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff could miss up to four weeks with a high ankle sprain, a source told, meaning he may miss the Dallas Cowboys' first two or three regular-season games.

Ratliff sat out most of training camp with plantar fasciitis, but he returned to practice this past Monday.

He injured the ankle in Saturday's preseason game against the Rams and left the locker room on crutches. With Ratliff out, Josh Brent will become the starting nose tackle.

Ratliff is a huge part of Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme, so he will be tough to replace. This continues a trend that has seen numerous Cowboys starters miss time during the preseason due to injury.

It now looks like the Cowboys will likely face the Giants in the Sept. 5 opener without Jason Witten (spleen) and Ratliff.