- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox was not able to finish Thursday’s practice because of a knee injury that will require an MRI and will put his status for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions into question.
The initial fear is that Wilcox sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Running back DeMarco Murray suffered a sprained MCL against the Washington Redskins and did not play last week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
If Wilcox is unable to play, then undrafted safety Jeff Heath could move into the role. Heath grew up 40 minutes from Detroit and will have 80 family and friends on hand for the game. He saw his first non-mop up defensive work last week against the Eagles.
Calling Jakar Hamilton up from the practice squad could be an option if Wilcox can’t play with only three safeties on the 53-man roster: Barry Church, Danny McCray and Heath. Wilcox has started the last five games and has 28 tackles and a pass deflection.
Murray took part in his second straight limited practice, but it appears he could return Sunday.
“I thought he was moving around good the latter part of practice,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant (hamstring, wrist) returned for a full practice on Thursday after he was limited on Wednesday. Wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) was listed as limited for the second straight day, but DeMarcus Ware missed his second straight day. Cornerback Morris Claiborne did not practice because he was sick.
Guard Ronald Leary returned for a full practice after he sat out of Wednesday’s workout because of a sore knee. Defensive tackle Nick Hayden said he hopes to return to practice on Friday after missing his second straight practice with a sore back.