Mike Jenkins told reporters yesterday that he’s started lifting weights again, and that he's got full range of motion in his surgically repaired right shoulder. While he’s unsure of when exactly he’ll return to the field, both he and the Cowboys hope he’ll get cleared to return to practice soon, perhaps as early as this week: Jenkins said he’d visit with Dr. James Andrews in Florida tomorrow to have his shoulder evaluated and potentially cleared for practice.
Dr. Andrews performed the rotator cuff surgery on Jenkins in January and Jenkins hasn’t participated in team practices since then. Jenkins previously visited with Dr. Andrews in the first week of August, but wasn't approved to resume contact in practice.
Jerry Jones made some noises a couple of days ago about Jenkins possibly being able to "help us against the Giants." While that seems like an overly optimistic assessment, Coach Garrett wouldn’t entirely rule out a quick return either. Despite Jenkins having missed all of training camp and all offseason workouts, Garrett said the Cowboys have not yet determined exactly how much practice Jenkins would need to be prepared for the season opener:
"We have no drop dead-date in particular, but we understand he has to practice before he is ready to play," Garrett said. "We wouldn’t put him out there unless he was ready."
Is there a chance Jenkins could be ready to play against the Giants in the season opener? The Cowboys don’t have to rush to get Jenkins back on the field. With Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick, they have three corners who’ll be able to hold down the fort for a while. But Jenkins will be back, perhaps sooner rather than later, and then the Cowboys will have to make some interesting choices about their cornerbacks.
But those are the kind of luxury problems any team likes to have.