Bruce Carter rehab takes a step

IRVING, Texas -- Rookie linebacker Bruce Carter took his rehab to another level on Tuesday by doing his work in shoulder pads and a helmet.

Carter, who is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last year at North Carolina, is eligible to come off the non-football injury list on Oct. 18. The Cowboys would have another three weeks to make a decision on activating him to the active roster.

Carter, the Cowboys’ second-round pick, is eyeing a return against St. Louis on Oct. 23.

Carter said wearing the pads for the first time since last November felt strange. He is not wearing a brace and does not expect to wear one when he begins practicing.

“My shoulders got kind of tired,” he said, “but my helmet and everything else was good.”

Carter has been in the defensive and special teams meetings since training camp.

“I know definitely special teams I can play that, but I’ll probably get in some kind of sub package [on defense] and not jump into the whole thing right off the gun to work my way in,” Carter said.