Dallas Cowboys brass previously said they'd be careful and considerate while assisting second-year linebacker Jaylon Smith back to full health.
It appears those plans have been scrapped in the wake of Anthony Hitchens' tibial plateau fracture suffered Saturday night against Oakland.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that the timetable had been accelerated, according to Clarence Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
This runs contrary to what Stephen Jones, — Jerry’s son and the Cowboys’ executive vice president — had been saying about Smith.
The anticipation is that Hitchens will miss eight weeks. Per All22.com, h soon, and if they find any further damage while they’re in there, he could miss even more time.
That leaves Smith as the best option at middle linebacker for the moment.
and now Jones is making it clear that they’re going to pick up the pace on working him into the role they envision for him in their defense. Now, the question is whether Smith is ready for it.
He’s looked good in his first two preseason games, but he hasn’t played starter’s snaps in over 20 months since he was in college. And the nerve damage in his leg still requires him to wear an advanced ankle-foot orthosis on his left ankle to help with drop foot, wrote All22.
Smith tore his ACL in January, 2016 during his final college football game for Notre Dame. He missed the entire 2016 NFL season.
The youngster was drafted 34th overall in 2016.