J.J. Wilcox will undergo an MRI after suffering a knee injury during practice, the Dallas Cowboys announced Thursday. The Cowboys fear that he may have suffered an MCL strain, which could threaten his status for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. The injury does not appear to be season-ending, however.
Wilcox, a third-round rookie out of Georgia Southern, made his way into the Cowboys' starting lineup at safety in Week 3 and has seemed to progress each week. According to Tom Ryle at Cowboys blog Blogging The Boys, Wilcox is coming off an excellent performance in Week 7:
Wilcox has been impressive in winning the starting job, and was just listed as number 30 on Mel Kiper's list of the top NFL rookies (currently behind the pay wall at ESPN). He had arguably his best game of the season against the Eagles, including a beautiful pass break up against DeSean Jackson to save a touchdown after the Tony Romo interception in the third quarter.
If Wilcox sits out against the Lions, Jeff Heath, an undrafted rookie, would likely start. According to Ryle, Heath has looked good this season, though he hasn't seen the field as often as Wilcox. The Cowboys may recall Jakar Hamilton, another rookie, from the practice squad to help fill out the depth chart.