IRVING, Texas -- Mark Slough, the agent for defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, told ESPNDallas Thursday that his client might play this season.
"If healthy, then yes," Slough said.
Ratliff was released by the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday because the team didn't believe he could recover in enough time to play this season. Slough said Ratliff suffered injuries to the muscles of his pelvis in two places, and that those injuries, described as severe, would be difficult to overcome for a return in 2013.
"It was a very vicious injury," Slough said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. "This injury takes a long time to heal. The expectation from the beginning was that this injury would probably take a year [to heal]. I had doctors tell me that if it had happened to me, someone who wasn't an athlete, this would probably take a couple of years to heal. So the fact that Jay is not yet healthy is not a surprise based on the severity of the injury. But I think people misunderstood -- well, I know people misunderstood -- because they never really had a clear idea of what happened. Jay is recovering very well. He is in excellent shape, looks as good as he ever has."
Slough said several NFL teams have asked about Ratliff's services, but he wouldn't reveal them. One NFL executive said Ratliff is a solid player but that his health raises concerns.
"Can he hold up?" said the NFL executive. "What's his conditioning like? Lots of questions. He's a solid veteran player. If he's healthy, then I'm sure a lot of teams would kick the tire on him. There seems to be mixed signals out there if he will play or not."
Another NFL executive said Ratliff has to get healthy first before looking at him, but added, "He's a good football player when healthy."