The status of Cowboys TE Jason Witten is in doubt leading up to Wednesday’s game against the Giants. Reports have gone back and forth about whether he’ll play, mostly because it’s so tough to tell when it comes to internal organs like a (lacerated) spleen.
Yet Witten has practiced over the last two days, which is more than a good sign. If he is medical cleared, you better believe he’ll be out there. And now, the optimism is building to where it looks like he’ll go. Don’t believe me?
Ask QB Tony Romo.
“I’ve played with Jason for a long time, so I don’t think you’re really going to be able to replace him,” Romo said a few minutes ago. “The good thing is, Jay’s been out here. So, for me, it’s kind of exciting to know that we’re probably going to have him in the game.That’s something that’s important.”
So… you think Witten’s going to play?
“As of what I know, I think he’s going to, yes,” Romo said.
Owner Jerry Jones said Witten will have one more CAT scan on Tuesday before they leave for New Jersey and the game. They’ll know more then. But Jones was also fairly positive when discussing it. Things are looking up for Witten.
“If his physical ability to practice influences it, then he’s really doing well, he’s getting a lot of reps, he feels good,” Jones said. “All the kinds of things that you’d look for in how he’s preparing himself to play in a game, that’d be a positive. The answer’s yes (he’ll play), there. But realistically, how it sorts through relative to what he might do on the CAT scan test on Tuesday will dictate whether he plays or not.“
“But he’s practicing well enough,” Jones continued. “Had he not been practicing well, feeling good (it wouldn’t be an issue).”
Witten hasn’t really been hit in practice, though he has been thumped just a bit. But practice will never be like it is in the game. That’s for sure. That’s one reason it’s so hard to tell whether he’ll be ready to go.
I know what Romo says. I know what Jones says. But there is another issue. The reality is, at this point, the spleen looks fine. It seems to be healed on the surface. It just has been difficult to tell if it has returned to normal under the surface. The issue is, it may look fine on the outside but be vulnerable underneath to further damage.
If he takes another hit, and it is still soft underneath, it could be really bad. He seems healthy enough, but it’s really a risk analysis issue. Unless Tuesday’s CAT scan definitively says there is no damage to any part of the spleen, it’s a case of whether you trust that it’s healed or you simply aren’t sure. It could be like playing on a hamstring that is a little sore. Most likely, you’re fine. Just a little more susceptible to a pull.
People around Witten are saying they think he can play. But maybe Tuesday’s test will show more.
“I think it healed quicker than people thought, but ultimately, medically it’s a quick turnaround,” Witten told reporters. “You look it up and a lot of times (recovery from a spleen injury) is a lot longer than this.“