FRISCO — Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker Jaylon Smith said the nerve in his injured leg has started to regenerate and all signs point to him being on the field and participating in offseason practices beginning in May.
Smith, the Cowboys’ second-round pick out of Notre Dame, suffered a serious leg injury in his final college game. He was a Top 5 talent who fell to the second round with the likelihood that he wouldn’t play his rookie season.
The Cowboys placed him on the injured reserve list last month, ending his rookie season without ever seeing the field, as the club remained patient waiting for his nerve in his leg to start regenerating. That is happening now, with all signs pointing to him playing in 2017.
“Yeah, it’s regenerating,” Smith said of his nerve in his left leg. “It’s just a thing that you have to have patience. I’m going to continue to do everything I’m asked and controlling what I can control and we’re going to take our time with it.”
How does Smith know his nerve is regenerating in his leg? Is it because doctors have told him or is it something he’s feeling now that he wasn’t feeling before?
“Both. Doctors and tests all of that good stuff, feeling,” Smith said. “There are things I didn’t have before that I’m definitely getting now.”
What’s that regenerating sensation feel like?
“It feels like it’s coming back,” Smith said, smiling.
Smith said he’s running a 4.5-second 40-yard dash now as most of his speed has returned. He also said his change-of-direction sprinting has been positive.
Smith even says he believes he could have played for the Cowboys in the playoffs.
“I think I could have played and competed at an elite level,” Smith said, “but with us coming together and realizing the situation with the nerve coming back, we’re going to be patient and trust God’s timing.”