Tracking Mo: Getting up to speed

August, 13, 2012
8/13/12
9:00
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FREMONT, Calif. – Morris Claiborne's preseason debut will have to wait another week, if not more, because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that has limited him to two padded practices in training camp.

Claiborne will not play tonight against Oakland, but the hope is he'll play Saturday against San Diego.

That Claiborne, who made the trip north with the team, was able to practice Saturday was a good sign. He needs to practice as much as he can to make sure he is ready for the Sept. 5 regular-season opener. In Sunday’s practice he saw action at left and right cornerback but the Cowboys should just put his focus on one side and leave him there.

Claiborne’s return also should cease perceived questions from management about his willingness to play through injuries. If there were questions about his toughness, he should have answered them last season at LSU when he played the bulk of the season with ligament damage in his wrist.

While they want to ultimately give Mackenzy Bernadeau some snaps at center, they also want him to feel comfortable at guard before giving him too much after missing the offseason and the early part of camp because of hope and knee surgeries. And he’s a veteran.

Claiborne is still getting his feet wet in the NFL, so the Cowboys should ease his development by letting him focus on one side of the field for now.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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