Justin Durant moves back into the lineup

IRVING, Texas -- It's hard to determine if linebacker Justin Durant missed his third consecutive game with a hamstring injury because the coaches didn't believe he was ready to return or if he was a healthy scratch.

"You have to ask coach, ask coach about it," Durant said after Thursday's practice.

With weakside linebacker Bruce Carter nursing a hamstring injury, raising his availability for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers in doubt, the Cowboys need Durant to return to the lineup.

Durant was signed in the offseason to become a veteran presence at strong side linebacker. But he's dealt with a groin injury, costing him one game and now a hamstring problem caused him to miss the past three contests.

"It's been a little bit disappointing for me, honestly," said Durant, who has 23 total tackles this season. "The two injuries I've had and I've been playing pretty good before I got hurt. I was just getting into my groove I felt like before the second time I got hurt, man. It's kinda disappointing. We're still in the hunt, right now and I'm back healthy and hopefully I can go out and contribute and help the team."

Durant has practiced at all three linebackers spots and should resume his normal spot at strong side, but with Carter out, Ernie Sims most likely will take over on the weakside. There's been a shortage of linebacker due to health reasons this season.

Sean Lee, DeVonte Holloman, Durant and Carter have endured injuries this season.

"Playing a little bit of everything, all of them," Durant said of the linebacker spots. "Kinda not sure what’s going on with Bruce, hope he will be back."