J.J. Wilcox hurts knee at Cowboys practice, will have MRI

AP

Dallas’ ability to stop Calvin Johnson and the Lions may have taken a hit on Thursday.

The Cowboys are likely going to be without defensive end DeMarcus Ware again this weekend and now they may be down a starting safety as well. Nick Eatman of the team’s website reports that J.J. Wilcox injured his knee during the team’s practice and went for an MRI later in the day. Wilcox was hurt during red zone drills while fighting for a ball with tight end Gavin Escobar.

Per Eatman, the Cowboys are concerned about an MCL sprain and don’t think it is a season-ending injury. It would seem very unlikely that Wilcox, who bumped Will Allen out of the lineup and off the roster early this season, would play on Sunday with anything but a totally clean bill of health, so the Cowboys will need to move on to a backup plan.

Wilcox’s fellow rookie Jeff Heath is the likeliest backup plan on the roster and it would mark his most extensive playing time on defense to this point in his professional career.