He missed his entire rookie season after sustaining two torn ligaments and nerve damage in his leg during a college bowl game in 2015, but is finally participating in team drills in anticipation of playing in the 2017 season.
“I feel like me. I look like me. I am me,” Smith told Tom Pelissero of USA TODAY Sports after minicamp wrapped up Thursday. “I’m Jaylon Smith. Ready to play some ball.”
Smith and owner Jerry Jones have stated the linebacker could have played late last season, but he didn’t see the field before the team was eliminated in the playoffs.
He was thought to be a top pick in the 2016 draft before he sustained the injury. Instead, he slipped to the Cowboys’ pick in the second round. The Notre Dame product had to regain muscle control in his leg and foot, but he’s optimistic he’s moving along at a pace that will see him on the field this fall.
“The nerve’s regenerating, so I’m doing great,” he said. “It’s all God’s timing.”
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