INJURY UPDATES: Key players ready to come back or making significant progress (Bonus Video)

Jenkins doctor visit Thursday, hopes to be cleared for practice

Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Mike Jenkins still doesn’t know when he will play his first game, but he hopes to get cleared to return to practice this week. Jenkins said he will visit Dr. James Andrews in Florida on Thursday.

Jenkins’ surgically repaired right shoulder failed a strength test the last time he visited Andrews, in early August, so the former Pro Bowler has continued rehabbing. He now is lifting weights.

It is unlikely Jenkins will play in the season opener against the Giants on Sept. 5.

Jenkins, a first-round pick in 2008, is in the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him a base salary of $1.052 million this season.

Jason Witten has scan of his spleen and will get results later today

Dallas Cowboys Tight end Jason Witten expects to hear Tuesday evening what a scan of his injured spleen shows. Witten had a scan Tuesday morning. He said he will get the results when he meets with the doctor later today.

Witten lacerated his spleen in the exhibition opener against the Raiders on a hit by Oakland linebacker Rolando McClain. He worked on resistance cords during Monday’s practice as part of his rehab.

The Cowboys are hopeful their All-Pro tight end can play in the season opener against the Giants, but he has to be fully cleared before stepping on the field.

Miles Austin has no doubt he’ll play in opener; Ratliff on crutches

Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin gave the expected answer when asked if he has any doubt he will play in the season opener.

"No," Austin said.

Austin has been out since straining his hamstring Aug. 4. The Cowboys have taken their time nursing Austin back to health considering he had two separate hamstring injuries last season.

Austin missed six games in 2011, finishing with 43 catches for 579 yards and seven touchdowns.

Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff‘s status for the game against the Giants on Sept. 5 is more in doubt. He is not in a boot but is on crutches while hoping his high-ankle sprain will heal quickly. Ratliff attended the team’s kickoff luncheon but did not participate in the introductory walk across the field to the head table. 

The Cowboys have not ruled him out of the opener, and owner Jerry Jones spoke of Ratliff’s toughness during his speech at the kickoff luncheon. But a high-ankle sprain typically is a 2-4 week injury, and Ratliff has only 11 days from the day he was injured — Saturday’s preseason game against the Rams — until the season opener.

DeMarcus Ware won’t promise five sacks, vows hamstring ready

Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware will get a chance to do what the woman on the NFL’s "Back to Football" commercial wants him to do: Sack Eli Manning five times.

Ware said he practiced Monday and "a little bit" Tuesday and vowed himself ready to go for the season opener against the Giants on Sept. 5. Ware hurt his left hamstring in practice Aug. 16 and missed the past two preseason games. He and most of the team’s other starters will not play Wednesday night against the Dolphins.

"It’s good," Ware said of his hamstring."… We practiced [for] New York today, did some things, so I’ll be good."

Ware said he shot the NFL commercial at MetLife Stadium and didn’t know how it was going to turn out until he saw the finished product. He called the exchange with Manning and a couple — the man a Giants fan and the woman a Cowboys fan — "funny." The woman tries to make Ware promise to get five sacks of Manning.

"They can expect what they want to expect," Ware said, with a smile, when asked if fans should expect five sacks from him. "We have to be able to get some pressure on the quarterback to win that game."

Ware has sacked Manning more than any other quarterback, with 10.5 of his career 99.5 sacks coming against the Giants quarterback. He has never had more than four sacks in a game, though.

During his acceptance speech Tuesday for team defensive MVP honors, Ware said he was "up here shaking" because he is so excited for the Giants game. The Cowboys have anticipated the rematch with the Giants since the schedule was released. They lost the regular-season finale at MetLife Stadium on New Year’s Day, an elimination game that propelled the Giants into the playoffs and onto the Super Bowl title.

"I think the Giants have been on my mind since the end of the season, because you think about how you lost," Ware said of the 31-14 defeat. "That sort of motivates you to get you through the off-season and carry you through training camp and now that’s our first game. We’ve been preparing for it the whole time, and we want to make a statement the first game … I think everybody’s ready."

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