FRISCO, Texas — Jaylon Smith’s return to 11-on-11 work will have to wait until the organized team activities.
After saying during the draft that the Dallas Cowboys’ 2016 second-round pick would participate in the upcoming minicamp for the 2017 rookies, coach Jason Garrett said Sunday night that Smith will go through the meetings and walk-throughs only.
The Cowboys are in Phase 2 of their offseason program, which includes on-field teaching sessions as well as strength and conditioning work. After such a long layoff, the Cowboys want to be smart with Smith’s work on the field and not overly tax him from the start.
“He’s going to do the veteran stuff on the field on Tuesday and Thursday, so I don’t anticipate him doing a lot on the field over the weekend,” Garrett said at the Taste of the Cowboys event benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.
Smith did not play last season as he recovered from a serious knee injury that included nerve damage. He has done everything up to this point in the Cowboys’ offseason program as the nerve that affected his ability to lift his left foot continues to regenerate.
At the draft, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Smith has regained feeling and some movement in his toes that has the club encouraged he could have a full recovery and not need a brace for his foot when the season starts.
The Cowboys begin their organized team activities in two weeks. The offseason program ends after the June 13-15 minicamp.
“It seemed like he handled the work well last week, and he’s just done an amazing job right from the start with his rehab, taking it day by day, making progress, and we’ll continue to do that,” Garrett said. “If he takes that approach, that’s when he’s going to have his most success. That’s what he’s done up to this point.”