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Cowboys injury report: Anthony Hitchens has high ankle sprain

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who has started 11 games this season, has a high ankle sprain.

“We’ll take his status day-by-day,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Hopefully, he can practice this week.”

That means there’s a chance he won’t play Sunday against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium. Garrett doesn't have strict rules about how much a player must practice before he allows him to play.

Against the Indianapolis Colts, Zack Martin and DeMarco Murray didn't practice but played well against Indianapolis. Rolando McClain has played without practicing at least once this season.

Hitchens injured his ankle in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins, when a Washington linemen fell on it during a pileup. Hitchens' strength is that he can play all the linebacker spots and in the nickel defense.

Right tackle Doug Free's foot injury (bone spurs, stress fracture) has kept him out of the last two games. Jeremy Parnell has replaced him and done a solid job, helping Murray rush for 100 yards on 20 carries as the Cowboys rolled up 174 total rushing yards against Washington.

“Hopefully he can practice Wednesday,” Garrett said of Free, “and we’ll see how he does with that work as we go forward in the week.”

Josh Brent's strained calf started bothering him in pre-game warmups against Washington, and the Cowboys opted to make him inactive in hopes he could play this week. Kenneth Boatright replaced him and played 16 snaps against Washington.

“Josh warmed up before the game and his calf was grabbing him,” Garrett said. “The reason we made the decision we did is we didn’t think he was going to be able to get through the game and we didn’t want a further setback.

“We felt it was in everyone’s best interest not to play him, and we hope he’ll be ready this week.”