We’re no closer to knowing whether Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff will be healthy enough to participate in the Cowboys’ regular season opener with the New York Giants next Wednesday, as he recovers from a high ankle sprain suffered in the third week of the preseason, but Dallas got a positive sign on Thursday when Ratliff participated in a walk-through practice with his teammates.
Of course, the Cowboys are still prepared to platoon Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore at nose tackle against New York if Ratliff isn’t ready to return, but the team is optimistic about the situation, thanks in no small part to Ratliff’s history of playing through injuries.
"We're certainly hopeful he'll progress day by day," head coach Jason Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. "He has an ankle injury that's he's trying to come back from. He's certainly a very tough guy, very passionate guy and he loves to play football, so he's going to do everything he can to get himself ready. We'll just take his situation day-by-day."
To be sure, the Dallas coaches aren’t the only ones who have taken note of Ratliff’s toughness. The All-Pro’s teammates also know you can almost never rule out the man they lovingly refer to as “Rat.”
"It's very difficult. You can't really count him out," said defensive end Jason Hatcher. "I don't know where he's at right now (physically), but I know he's a warrior and I know he will try his best to get back out there.
“That guy right there is a tough guy, don't be surprised if he's out there Wednesday.”
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