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The Sports Daily
Jaylon Smith expects to be ready for season opener

Jaylon Smith’s NFL debut has been a long time coming, and it appears the Dallas Cowboys linebacker will play in 2017 after missing all of last season while recovering from a horrific left knee injury that included nerve damage.

Smith told reporters Wednesday that he’ll be on the field in Week 1 against the New York Giants on Sep. 10, something most critics didn’t ever see happening for the Cowboys’ 2016 second-round pick. Smith suffered ACL and MCL tears along with nerve damage during Notre Dame’s bowl game against Ohio State. As a result, the former Butkus Award winner dropped in the draft despite having first-round talent.

There’s no guarantee Smith will be able to play at the same high level as he did in college, but he seems optimistic.

The Cowboys could definitely use some help at middle linebacker, and they’re hoping Smith can fill that need if healthy. It will be interesting to see what comes of his rookie season after coming back from a major injury.