It’s generally assumed that the Dallas Cowboys’ second round pick, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, will not play until 2017.
Smith suffered a devastating knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl last year that involved tears to his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral cruciate ligament, as well as damage to his peroneal nerve. He underwent surgery on the knee back in January.
But Smith isn’t ready to rule himself out of 2016. He was asked in an introductory conference call if there’s a chance he could play at some point this season.
“Absolutely,” Smith said, per the Dallas Morning News. “Never doubt God."
Whenever Smith does get on the field, be it in 2016 or, more likely, in 2017, he’s confident he’ll reward the Cowboys for betting on him.
"They're getting a heck of a player,” Smith said. “A guy who knows his football IQ, very intelligent, but also a playmaker. That's something that I'll be able to compliment, be able to pass rush, both sideline to sideline. Looking forward to playing with Mr. (Sean) Lee.”