The Dallas Cowboys will be without Jay Ratliff for at least the first six games of the regular season after the team placed the defensive lineman on the Reserve/PUP list. The team announced the move as it trimmed the roster down to 75 players by Tuesday's deadline.
Ratliff injured his hamstring during his conditioning test before the start of training camp. The injury was not initially thought to be serious, with Dallas owner Jerry Jones saying he wasn't concerned, via ESPN Dallas.
"I'm not concerned about him playing at the level that we'd expect to open the season," Jones said on Aug. 11. "I don't want to push anything over a preseason game with him."
It wasn't until after Dallas' third preseason game did Jones publicly admit Ratliff's injury could force him to miss regular season games. The 32-year-old Ratliff has been injury-plagued in recent seasons, including last season when he missed 10 games. Plantar fasciitis slowed him early in the year before a sprained ankle and sports hernia cost him time during the regular season.
While Ratliff missed camp due to a hamstring injury, the groin injury that required surgery last season may also be a factor, according to Nick Eatman of DallasCowboys.com. Ratliff was thought to be on the roster bubble this offseason, but restructured his contract in March, saving Dallas $2.93 million against the salary cap, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
By rule, Ratliff will miss at least the first six games of the season. He can be activated following the sixth game, but must be added to the active roster by the 10th game or he will be placed on injured reserve and be out for the season. Nick Hayden has started in Ratliff's place during the preseason.