It’s becoming a familiar refrain.
Cornerback Morris Claiborne gets injured, downplays the injury as no big deal and then proceeds to miss practice time.
The latest setback is a right shoulder injury that Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett described as “some kind of AC joint separation.” Claiborne was injured during Wednesday’s practice, landing on it awkwardly.
He will miss Saturday’s preseason game against Baltimore and could be sidelined the entire preseason. But the Cowboys are confident he will be ready for the season opener.
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“I feel good about it, better than I felt after [Wednesday’s] practice,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
“But I feel good about the first game, and I know that he knows that he’s really going to have to keep his conditioning up and really keep up with things if we actually don’t have him play in games.”
It’s another injury to Claiborne’s growing list. He has already missed time this training camp, including the preseason opener in San Diego, with a right knee injury.
The sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft has also dealt with a left shoulder injury, a concussion, a finger surgery and hamstring issues in his young career.
All of it has cost him practice time, especially in the preseason, in which he has already missed nine of 10 preseason games in three years.
This could be the second consecutive year in which Claiborne has missed the entire preseason because of injury. He missed all five preseason games last year and two of four his rookie season. Is Claiborne’s missed time becoming a growing concern for the Cowboys?
“ We’d rather have him out there,” Garrett said. “You want him to take every rep, but sometimes these things happen. I do think he’s become a better player because of the experiences that he’s had over the first couple of years of his career.”
Jones: Back to Oxnard
Jones plans for the Cowboys to hold training camp in Oxnard for the foreseeable future, even after the team’s new facility in Frisco opens.
The Cowboys’ contract with Frisco calls for one week of training camp to be held there every year, beginning in 2016. But that doesn’t preclude the Cowboys from returning to Oxnard , the owner said.
“We’ll do both. We’ll be able to get both in,” Jones said.
The Cowboys complete their ninth camp in Oxnard on Friday. The team is in the final year of a three-year contract, but it holds a three-year option. Jones said he anticipates a return in 2015 and beyond.
Help appears to be on the way for the Cowboys’ ailing defensive line in former first-round pick Amobi Okoye, who has been on the nonfootball injury list since the start of training camp.
Jones said Okoye has been cleared to practice after missing all of the off-season with an undisclosed illness. Picked 10th overall by the Houston Texans in 2007, the defensive tackle has not played since 2012 when he was with the Bears.
“Okoye has been cleared. He’ll be meeting us in Dallas,” Jones said on the final day of camp practice Thursday.
Okoye must still pass a physicalbefore he is allowed to practice. So his return is not imminent. But he has cleared the first big hurdle toward getting back on the field for first time in almost two years.