ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Marcus Spears #96 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Marcus Spears will make his return to live action in Sunday night’s season opener in Washington, by his own estimate, at about 95 percent. Spears suffered a sprained left knee a little over a month ago and missed the entire preseason, but says that now, he is approaching a full recovery.
“My knee is fine,” Spears said Thursday, per ESPN Dallas. “I practiced yesterday in pads and it felt good. We're taking measures to protect it as much as possible but it's not going to be a thought in my mind in the game. I’ll be about 95 percent.”
One measure being taken by the team is to have Spears wear a protective brace until the knee has fully healed, a period that the veteran defensive end hopes is shorter than longer. “Once it gets back strong, the brace is coming off,” Spears said.
Sunday night marks the beginning of a seminal season for Spears, insofar as his relationship with the Cowboys is concerned. By giving Spears the original draft round tender, Dallas basically obliged him to stay in town while paying him less than his backups, Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen.
With his contract up at the end of this season, Spears can only continue to be a force as a run-stopper and a steady leader in the locker room--and in doing so, hopefully, prove himself to be an asset to the team in 2010, his sixth season with the Cowboys. This campaign will begin on Sunday night.
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