The Cowboys raised some eyebrows this week when they activated linebacker Jaylon Smith from the non-football injury list. However, he won’t be playing this season, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. In fact, the rookie won’t even be practicing this season.
By activating Smith off the NFI list this week, the Cowboys were merely keeping their options open. The timetable for making his NFL debut is still unclear because of the nature of his injury. Nerve damage is always tough to figure out and the source tells Rapoport that it’s not clear when or if it will “fire” again.
Smith has now been rehabbing his injury for eleven months and he has been earning his full salary while on NFI, even though the Cowboys do not have to do that under league rules. So, the decision to keep Smith off the field will not affect his bank account.
The Cowboys would have liked to add the Notre Dame product to their front seven this year, but they also knew that this could be a lost season for him. Once regarded as a top 10 pick, most teams ruled Smith out in the early rounds. The Patriots, Rapoport says, were the only other team that would have considered Smith in the second round. In time, the Cowboys’ gamble could pay off, but we won’t have a read on that until next year.
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