Amobi Okoye returns to practice

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Amobi Okoye participated in his first practice of the season Thursday.

Okoye has been on the reserve/non-football list because he was recovering from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a brain condition that causes memory loss and seizures. Okoye, who hasn't played in an NFL game since 2012, was in a coma for three months last year.

"It was good, it was worth it," said Okoye, who worked with the scout team. "It was mixed emotions. It felt like it naturally was coming back. I've played six years in the league [and], it doesn't take too long for stuff to come back to you."

Okoye said he'll hold a formal news conference during the Cowboys' bye week, in mid-November, to discuss in detail what he overcame.

There are no guarantees Okoye will play this season. He will be on the reserve/non-football list for another three weeks, and after that, the team can activate him, place him on injured reserve, release him or keep him on reserve/non-football list.

"He's been through a lot," linebacker Bruce Carter said. "His story is amazing. A guy like that who works real hard, I see him all the time working [with strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Woicik] one-on-one. Just to see him actually working with [us] and see it pay off is a great thing. I think he's going to do great things for us."

Okoye was cleared for contact drills at the end of training camp, but the team kept him on the reserve list so he can work on his conditioning. After doctors cleared him, and once the team felt he was good from a physical standpoint, he was able to practice.

"It's going to take a game no matter whatever you go through, a MCL, ACL," he said. "You actually need to play in a game."