Cowboys still waiting on Jay Ratliff’s return

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff becomes eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list next week. That doesn’t mean he will.

In fact, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday he has no idea when Ratliff will return.

“I don’t know that he knows. I don’t know that anybody knows,” Jones said on KRLD/105.3 FM. “He is beginning to work through on what we all hope is a secure injury area that has hopefully healed. I don’t know that. I can’t speak to that, and I don’t know that anybody does.

“We will painstakingly go slow here in trying to work him back in.”

Ratliff continues to rehab from hernia surgery he had on Dec. 12. He missed all of training camp other than a couple of teaching sessions.

The Cowboys have until Nov. 4 to activate Ratliff from PUP, and once they do, he has three weeks to practice before a decision has to be made about moving him to the 53-player roster.

Ratliff, who, in August, alluded to friction with Cowboys staff regarding his rehab, has done part of his in-season rehab away from Valley Ranch, coach Jason Garrett said Monday.

The four-time Pro Bowler missed 10 games last season with various injuries. He had plantar fasciitis in the 2012 off-season, sprained his ankle in the preseason and then needed surgery late in the season to repair a sports hernia, which put him on injured reserve.

His sack totals have decreased five consecutive seasons, including no sacks in 2012.

Austin returns

Receiver Miles Austin practiced for the first time since straining his hamstring against the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 22. He was a full participant Wednesday.

“Grinding,” he said, asked in the locker room how he was doing.

Terrance Williams has 11 catches for 222 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. Austin has 15 catches for 125 yards this season.

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, who came out of the Denver game for a series because of a stinger, was limited in practice. Receiver/returner Dwayne Harris also was limited because of a hip pointer, although he has played the past two games with it.

Three players missed practice — running back Lance Dunbar, who hurt his hamstring last week on a kickoff return against Denver; linebacker Justin Durant, who has a groin injury; and defensive end Edgar Jones, also with a groin injury.

Selvie fined

The league fined Cowboys defensive end George Selvie $7,875 for a face mask penalty on Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Selvie was penalized on the second-quarter play.

“I reached out, and that’s what I happened to grab,” Selvie said. “I’m not trying to be a dirty player at all. That’s what I happened to grab, and that’s what happened.”

Receiver Dez Bryant was fined $7,875 for a throat-slash gesture against the Rams.

Defensive lineman Ben Bass was fined $15,750 for a horse collar tackle in a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and cornerback Micah Pellerin was fined $15,750 for an unnecessary roughness in a preseason against the Arizona Cardinals.

Safety Barry Church was docked $5,250 for throwing a football in the stands against the Giants.

Safeties get chance

Jason Garrett said the Cowboys want to see more of their young safeties, which is why they released veteran Will Allen on Tuesday.

“J.J. Wilcox has been our starter for the last couple of weeks, and Jeff Heath has been a guy who has really emerged throughout training camp and the early part of this season, so we want to give those guys an opportunity to play,” Garrett said Wednesday.

Wilcox has started the past three games and posted 17 tackles in that stretch, including nine against Denver last week.

Heath, an undrafted rookie, has not made a tackle in the regular defense. He recovered a muffed punt against the New York Giants in Week 1, and he has four special teams tackles.

Staff writer Carlos Mendez contributed to this report.

Charean Williams 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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