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OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Dallas cornerback Orlando Scandrick left practice at training camp Tuesday with what he told his secondary coach he believed was a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Scandrick went down working against rookie receiver Lucky Whitehead and was carted off the field. The Cowboys were awaiting results of an MRI.
"He said immediately, 'It's my ACL. I know it. It's gone,'" secondary coach Jerome Henderson said. "I hope he's just really dramatic."
The other defensive backs formed a circle for a prayer when practice ended.
"I heard it in his voice," said cornerback Morris Claiborne, a top-10 pick in 2012 who has had injury issues, including a torn patellar tendon in his left knee that limited him to four games last year. "After just sitting there and looking at him and just holding his hand, squeezing. I know that feeling."
Whitehead said he bent down when he thought Scandrick was going to hit him as the receiver came out of a route. Although one video appeared to show Scandrick's knee buckling before contact, another angle showed the knee bending awkwardly under Whitehead.
"I kind of felt it," Whitehead said. "Hope he will be OK."
Scandrick became the team's best cornerback as Brandon Carr struggled in coverage the past two seasons and Claiborne underperformed when he made it to the field. The eighth-year player has 48 starts among his 102 games, with a career-high two interceptions each of the past two seasons.
His injury will test a position that has much more depth than it did going into training camp last year. The Cowboys picked up fourth-year player Corey White on waivers from New Orleans, and he's been solid in camp along with undrafted second-year player Tyler Patmon.
Dallas also drafted Byron Jones in the first round this year.
"It's next man up if he is out," Henderson said. "We don't know if that is the case yet but in this league it happens to every team. You hate that it happens to such a great player. We have to keep moving."
Scandrick had missed most of training camp with a bothersome left knee. He had his first practice last week, just before a 23-6 loss to San Francisco in Dallas' second preseason game.
The Cowboys break camp Thursday and have their first home preseason game Saturday night against Minnesota.
Tony Romo was among several Cowboys who tweeted their support of Scandrick not long after practice ended. "Sending prayers out to Orlando Scandrick," Romo wrote. "Fear he has a torn acl. Your (sic) the best bud."
The Cowboys have brought Claiborne along slowly in camp, keeping him out of both preseason games even though he reported to California much further along than expected in his recovery. And Jones returned to practice Tuesday after an injury earlier in camp to his left shoulder, the same one that required surgery when he was at Connecticut.
"Injuries are a part of football, but it's an awful feeling when it happens to one of your guys," Jones said. "I just hope the best for him. He's a veteran, been here a long time. He was looking forward to season."
All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant had his most extensive work at practice since injuring a hamstring Aug. 2. He missed the offseason in a contract stalemate with the Cowboys.
The game against the Vikings could be his only chance to get on the field with Romo before the season opener Sept. 13 at home against the New York Giants.
"There's a heightened sense of urgency every day," coach Jason Garrett said earlier Tuesday, the first of three workouts before camp ends. "Nothing to do with three days."
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