Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher in form in return

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Some of the shine of the first-team defense’s effort was lost when it was learned nose tackle Jay Ratliff suffered a high ankle sprain, but the returns of defensive end Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer were positives.

Spencer and Hatcher missed the first two preseason games because of hamstrings and were able to make their debuts Saturday against. St. Louis. Spencer was credited with three tackles in less than a half of work, while Hatcher had a tackle, an 8-yard sack and a quarterback hurry.

“Going into the game I thought I’d be a little rusty but I felt better than I have felt,” Spencer said. “The way we practice, going into games makes it that much easier because we practice so hard against each other. Going against Doug (Free) and the tight ends we have definitely helped me out a lot.”

Hatcher had hoped for more work against the Rams.

“I did some good things and I did some bad things,” Hatcher said. “Just have to go clean it up and work our butts off the next 12 days to get ready for the Giants.”

Hatcher had an impressive start to camp before his hamstring strain. To get a sack on the first series kept the good feelings going.

“Once you get a sack it overrides everything at the end of the day,” Hatcher said. “I grade myself tough, so I’ll look at what I did in those short snaps, see what I took advantage of and see what I need to work on and fix.”