Cowboys’ TE Witten out with spleen injury
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Jason Witten has a spleen injury and the Pro Bowl tight end for the Dallas Cowboys will likely miss the rest of the preseason.
It is unclear if Witten will be ready for the Cowboys’ regular season opener in three weeks, Sept. 5 at the New York Giants.
Coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday that Witten sustained a “slightly lacerated” spleen in the preseason opener Monday night. He said Witten has to remain still as much as possible over the next week so he can heal.
“It’s a very serious injury and we’re really taking this thing day by day,” Garrett said. “He has to be very still and idle for the next week to 10 days, so you won’t see him out here on the practice field. He won’t play in the game this week or next week. We’ve just got to make sure he heals as well as possible, as quickly as possible.”
Witten will be reassessed in about a week, and surgery is an option if the spleen isn’t healing properly by then, the coach said.
Witten apparently got hurt after he caught a pass from a scrambling Tony Romo and was immediately hit from the side by Oakland linebacker Rolando McClain. The play resulted in a 2-yard loss.
Witten has missed only one game in his nine NFL seasons. That was during his rookie season in 2003 when he had a broken jaw.
Witten, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has 696 career receptions, second in team history behind only Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin’s 750.
John Phillips, a fourth-year player, was the tight end with the first-team offense during the walk-through session Wednesday as the team prepped for Saturday’s preseason game at San Diego.
The Cowboys have signed free agent tight end Harry Flaherty, the nephew of the head coach and tight ends coach John Garrett. He signed with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent out of Princeton last season but he was cut early in camp. To make room on the roster for Flaherty, the Cowboy waived injured guard Bill Nagy.