Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith has been activated off the non-football injury list, but it’s still unknown whether the second-round pick may be able to play this season.
But the Cowboys at least wanted to keep that option open, owner Jerry Jones said on his 105.3 The Fan radio show Tuesday.
“We all want his nerve to get in better shape, that can be an unpredictable thing,” Jones said. “We’re very pleased with where he is right now with his strength and all the other things. We’re just hoping to see it continue to improve. But nobody knows, no medical people, know when that might occur.
“But we wanted to keep his eligibility as far as the NFL was concerned, wanted to keep that alive this year.”
Smith sustained a severe knee injury that included nerve damage in his final bowl game at Notre Dame. That dropped him from a projected top-10 pick into the second round.
The nerve in his knee has yet to regenerate and his routine is not expected to change. If it does start firing, the Cowboys will have the option to use him.
With this move, the Cowboys now have a 21-day window to see whether Smith could realistically play this season or not. In three weeks, they’ll decide whether to promote him to the 53-man roster, or place him on season-ending injured reserve.