The Cowboys and Jaylon Smith have received some good news. The linebacker’s damaged nerve is regenerating, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He has a long way to go, but he can now lift is foot and is getting back muscle control.
Earlier this offseason, word was that Smith’s nerve would not be coming back to life and that he would be forced to play football with drop foot. The plan was for the Notre Dame product to play the season with a brace that would stabilize his leg, making him the first NFL player to ever attempt to take the field with the condition. However, the latest developments are a positive sign for Smith and may allow him to play at 100% – or something close to it.
Over the weekend, word emerged that Smith could be ready in time for team OTAs. This could be wishful/premature thinking, but there’s certainly reason for hope now in Dallas.
In his final season at Notre Dame, Smith compiled 115 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. Prior to his unfortunate injury, Smith was widely projected as a top 10 pick in the 2016 draft. Instead, he fell to the Cowboys in the second round. If he’s able to make a recovery, Dallas’ risk could pay major dividends in 2017.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.