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Report: Jaylon Smith Seeing "No Significant Improvement" In Damaged Nerve, Unlikely To Play In 2016

When the Dallas Cowboys selected Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, it was a somewhat surprising pick.Not because of Smith's talent level, which was top-5 in the draft, but because the ex-Irish star suffered a devastating knee injury in his team's Fiesta Bowl and his status for 2016 was uncertain. 

The Cowboys most definitely knew Smith would probably have to sit this year out, and that's looking like an increasingly likely possibility. ESPN's Ed Werder reported this morning that Smith hasn't had any major improvement in the injured nerve in his knee thus far and is "unlikely" to suit up this fall. 

">@thejaylonsmith has experienced no significant improvement in injured nerve so far. Playing 2016 seems unlikely

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 29, 2016

While this news isn't surprising, it's still troubling. If Smith doesn't begin to see significant improvement at some point, it is fair to wonder if he'll ever be the same or even be able to have an NFL career. 

For now, the Cowboys have to have faith that he'll continue to make progress and their investment/gamble will pay off down the road.