Witten suffered the injury during the first quarter of Monday night’s preseason game against the Raiders. Meanwhile, a source tells the NFL Network that tests “show that Witten’s spleen is not ruptured and he will not need surgery.”
Owner Jerry Jones admitted that he was concerned when he saw Witten absorb a hit from Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain that sent the tight end to the sidelines.
“When I held my breath was when I saw Witten take that lick and it was the same play Tony (Romo) got contorted,” Jones said via espndallas.com.
Witten returned for another series and did not appear to be hampered.
The Cowboys are coming off a disappointing 8-8 season and the organization spent much of the offseason upgrading the defense. But Witten is an integral cog in an offense, quarterback Tony Romo’s most reliable weapon.
Whiten is among the playmakers who have to do just that this season for Dallas – make plays – if they are to make any noise in the tough NFC East.
It is paramount that Romo, Witten and Dez Bryant remain healthy. Exacerbating matters: the Cowboys open the season on Wednesday, September 5 against the New York Giants.
Asking Witten to return in just three weeks from an internal injury seems to be asking a lot. He’s shown an ability to play through pain in the past. But this is a different kind of injury altogether, one that, if re-aggravated, could have serious health implications.
So, it is more likely that the Cowboys will err on the side of caution and work Witten slowly back onto the field instead of rushing him back.