Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick returned to practice Thursday and will play against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday after sitting out Sunday’s 42-17 blowout loss to the Denver Broncos with a fractured bone in his left hand.
Scandrick doesn’t worry about the Cowboys’ ability to bounce back, but he does call the Cardinals game a must-win for a young team that was beaten in all phases against the Broncos.
“This week is a situation I feel we are in a must-win,” Scandrick said. “It’s a must-win. It was tough (watching). We played an uncharacteristic game. Nothing went right and it kind of had a snowball effect. It’s always frustrating when you can’t be out there.”
Scandrick said sitting out the Broncos game was the plan all along, following surgery last Monday to have a metal plate inserted in his hand.
The risk of infection has passed, and he will have the stitches taken out this week.
“I don’t have any limitations,” Scandrick said. “I’ll be fine. It’s something I can play through while it heals.”
Defensive end Tyrone Crawford said getting the veteran Scandrick back will help the defense tremendously because of production and knowledge.
“Orlando is one of the smartest players I have been around,” Crawford said. “Just from that, his presence, his smarts, it helps a bunch. He knows what he is doing. He knows the defense. It gives maybe the extra second to get the passer.”
Scandrick said he will offer encouraging words to the rookie corners, especially third-round pick Jourdan Lewis who was baptized by fire against the Broncos in his NFL debut.
“You have to be honest with them and tell them it wasn’t good enough,” Scandrick said. “At the same time, you have to be encouraging and bring them along and tell them the positive things. Jourdan did some good things. He moved his feet well. He played press well. But he did some things that were uncharacteristic of who we are as a defense. It’s my job. It’s his job.
“It’s our coaches’ job to get him up to speed and playing to the level we know he can play. He got drafted in the third round. He didn’t get drafted in the third round to stand on the sideline in a sweat suit. But we just didn’t play well as a group.”