2014 GAME 8 INJURY UPDATE: Washington vs. Dallas | OLB Bruce Carter returns | Only two Cowboys miss this week | Cowboys-Redskins Injury and Practice Report

2014 GAME 7 INJURY UPDATE - Washington vs. Dallas - OLB Bruce Carter returns - Only two Cowboys miss this week - Cowboys-Redskins Injury and Practice Report

IRVING, Texas – It appears the Dallas Cowboys linebacker corps is at full health once more – or as close as it can get to full health this season.

Technically speaking, Sean Lee remains on injured reserve and is unavailable until 2015. But with Bruce Carter’s return to practice this Thursday, all the linebackers on the Cowboys’ active roster are once again available.

“I did all the drills today, special teams – I did everything,” Carter said. “I think as the week goes on, and me running around and be able to open up a little bit more each day. I figure I’ll be fine for Monday night.”

Carter has been missing for four weeks since he strained his quad in the Week 4 win against New Orleans. He missed three games while he convalesced, prompting the Cowboys to mix and match at the strong side linebacker spot.

It doesn’t look like that will be the case against Washington on Monday Night Football. As usual with this team, though, Carter was cautious with the assessment of his progress. He was limited on Thursday – the first practice of this week’s game preparation.

“I’m going to be ready to play. I’m going to listen to my body and see how the week goes,” he said. “Today it felt great, and I was able to move around and burst and do those sort of things. It just felt good to hit somebody else, so we’ll see how the week goes.”

This will mark rare territory for the Cowboys’ linebackers this season, assuming the trio of Carter, Justin Durant and Rolando McClain are all available – which they should be. The Cowboys have been without at least one of their primary linebackers for the vast majority of the season.

“With all three of us, we’ve played a lot, and so we’ve got a lot of experience. We know what we’re supposed to do,” Carter said. “I think it’ll be a great thing once it’s all on one page and we’re able to go out there and showcase it. I think it’ll be a good thing Monday night with all three of us back.”

Carter said the biggest thing is maintaining his confidence from Week 1 to Week 4, when he was among the team leaders in tackles on the way to a 3-1 start. Even with three weeks’ worth of absences, Carter is still the Cowboys’ No. 4 tackler with 29 on the season, according to the coaches’ film.

“My confidence was real high, and the big thing for me is I was just out there having fun,” he said. “So I’m going to get back to doing that leading right off. I’ve just got to make sure my quad is full strength and I’ll be good to go.”


RELATED PRACTICE UPDATE: Only two players missing prior to Redskins game

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys might have just enjoyed their best practice attendance of the season, as they finalize their preparation for Washington.

Only two players missed Saturday morning’s practice – the same duo of Doug Free and Jack Crawford that has been missing all week. Crawford has been inactive for the past two games with a calf strain, while Free is still recovering from the fractured foot he suffered in the win against Seattle.

Neither player will go against the Redskins, but Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was optimistic about Free’s timetable for return.

“We’ll see how he is next week when we start off on Wednesday and we’ll go from there,” Garrett said Saturday. “Initially it was a three or four week-type thing. He traditionally heals fast. He’s a tough guy and we feel like he’s coming back relatively well.”

Aside from those two injuries, though, the Cowboys look likely to have a mostly-healthy roster available to them for this week’s game – a rarity for any NFL team at this point of the season.

“You just have to have that approach that whatever happens the next guy is going to go in there and do the job that’s necessary,” Garrett said. “But having said that, guys are starters for a reason, guys are playing for a reason, and to be able to keep guys healthy is a certainly a big part of success.”

With Bruce Carter back in the lineup this week, the Cowboys have starters ready to go at nearly every position – which is a far cry from recent seasons. This time last year DeMarco Murray was missing with a knee injury and DeMarcus Ware was set to miss his first-ever playing time with a quad strain.

The Dallas offensive line will obviously be without Free for a second-consecutive week. Apart from that, though, the Cowboys aren’t battling those same problems as midseason approaches. You could even argue the Cowboys are getting a surplus, as DeMarcus Lawrence will be eligible to play the rest of the season starting Tuesday.

“It’s important for guys to get back to practice. You’re obviously trying to get them to be ready for Sunday and there’s a lot of different ways to do that, but the best way to do that is to make sure they practice as much as they can,” Garrett said.

After Monday night’s game, the Cowboys will have played half of their games, with the all-important bye week just two weeks away. The run of good health is something they’ll have to hope to continue.

“It’s a work in progress,” Garrett said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to stay healthy because that’s been a big part of it – when you have guys who are starting players for you and stay out there and play more plays.”


Dallas Cowboys Injury and Practice Update

Name

Position

Injury

Thu.

Fri.

Sat.

Game Status

Dez Bryant

WR

Shoulder

FP

FP

FP

Probable

Bruce Carter

OLB

Thigh

LP

FP

FP

Probable

Jack Crawford

DE

Calf

DNP

DNP

DNP

Out

Doug Free

T

Foot

DNP

DNP

DNP

Out

Jakar Hamilton

DB

Not Injury Related

DNP

FP

FP

Probable

Jermey Parnell

T

Chest

FP

FP

FP

Probable

Tony Romo

QB

Back

DNP

FP

FP

Probable

Anthony Spencer

DE

Knee/Foot

LP

LP

LP

Probable

Washington Redskins Injury and Practice Update

Name

Position

Injury

Thu.

Fri.

Sat.

Game Status

Chris Baker

DE

Thigh

FP

FP

FP

Probable

Ryan Clark

S

Ankle/Shoulder

LP

LP

LP

Probable

Robert Griffin

QB

Ankle

LP

LP

LP

Questionable

Alfred Morris

RB

Ankle

FP

FP

FP

Probable

Tracy Porter

CB

Hamstring

LP

LP

LP

Questionable

Tyler Polumbus

T

Knee

N/A

FP

FP

Probable

Perry Riley

LB

Knee

FP

FP

FP

Probable

Trent Williams

T

Knee

LP

FP

FP

Probable

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