Cowboys defensive tackle Amobi Okoye was cleared for full football activities on Thursday, 13 months after he was placed in a medically-induced coma to stabilize recurring seizures, according to ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer.
The 10th pick of the 2007 draft by the Texans, Okoye was diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a potentially lethal brain injury that includes seizures and memory loss, in March 2013, according to Archer. Okoye is the first football player to attempt to come back from the disease, which was discovered in 2007, Archer reports.
"I'm listening to the doctors and what they're saying and we're kind of working through this together because it is new," Cowboys head trainer Jim Maurer told Archer. "It's not been done, so it will be a work in progress."
The 310-pound Okoye lost close to 90 pounds while in recovery, his agent, Ian Greengross, told Archer.
"The easy way to think of it is it's like a virus putting a tent on your brain," Greengross said. "It's like a football field with a tarp on it. You can't play on it but the field is still there. Once it's lifted it comes back to normal, but it just takes time."
The 27-year-old, who has 16 career sacks, has spent time with the Texans, Bears, Bucs and Cowboys.
- Chris Mascaro