Jay Ratliff tries to speed up recovery

OXNARD, Calif. – Jay Ratliff committed a no-no when he snuck in for a snap of team drills during team drills Thursday in his comeback from a foot injury that has kept him off the practice field all spring and summer.

“He just sneaks in the huddle and sometimes you lose track of things,” coach Jason Garrett said. “’Oh, he’s in the huddle, he’s always in the huddle. Wait a second, get him out of there. It’s one of those kinds of deals. But that’s his nature. He’s a relentless player. He loves to play. He loves to work at it. It’s killing him to be away from it. We’ve just got to ease him in the right way.”

Ratliff will not play in Monday’s preseason opener at Oakland, and Garrett said he hopes to have him available Aug. 18 at San Diego but could not guarantee Ratliff would play.

Ratliff will do a “smidge” more in this afternoon’s practice but he will not take any team snaps. He has taken part in every morning walkthrough and will go through individual drills for the next few days.

“We think it’s important that he just get comfortable playing in football equipment and the weight of the shoulder pads and the weight of the helmet,” Garrett said. “We don’t want to bring him back too quickly and have him go backward.”