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Jay Ratliff Injury Update: Cowboys' NT Has High Ankle Sprain

Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, leaving him out for an estimated 4-6 weeks and casting doubt on his availability for Dallas' season opener against the Giants, according to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram. Ratliff left Saturday night's exhibition game against St. Louis early, and was later seen leaving the arena on crutches.

Ratliff has missed most of preseason camp with plantar fasciitis. He only returned to practice last week, and was making his preseason debut against St. Louis when he was injured. The veteran nose tackle was a key part of Dallas' 3-4 defense, and, as Jerry Jones said, his presence will be missed:

"Well yeah,'' responded owner Jerry Jones when asked if he was concerned about Ratliff's availability. "We're concerned about any of these injuries gettign down where we're within ten days of playing so would have to be concerned about it."

Dallas plays Miami Wednesday night to close out the preseason, and opens the regular season at New York September 9.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.