The Cowboys are preparing for their second preseason game, but they still don’t have defensive tackle Jay Ratliff back on the field after he tweaked his hamstring during his conditioning test when camp opened on July 20.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports that they won’t be getting him back on the field before the third preseason game either. According to Moore, Ratliff will not practice until after the Cowboys break camp in Oxnard, California on August 16. They play the Cardinals the next day, so Ratliff won’t be on the field for that game and he’ll have his first chance to practice once the team returns to Dallas to continue preparing for the season.
While Ratliff will be on the shelf for nearly a month at that point, the Cowboys aren’t worried at this point about his ability to return with enough time and health to get ready for the regular season.
“I think he’s fine,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “He’s right on. We don’t have any concerns right now with Jay. I think he’s moving in a good direction as far as we’re concerned.”
The Cowboys have had to deal with several injuries on their defensive line since the start of camp, an unhappy reminder of the injuries that bedeviled them on that side of the ball throughout the 2012 season. Ratliff, who missed 10 games, was one of those missing in action in 2012 and a repeat performance is something all parties would prefer to avoid.