Jason Witten vows to play if cleared
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will get a CT scan on his spleen on Tuesday before the team leaves for New Jersey to determine whether he can play in Wednesday's season opener against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones suggested earlier this week that the Cowboys could consider the benefits of holding Witten out until their Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks even if the seven-time Pro Bowl tight end receives medical clearance to play against the Giants.
That is not a conversation Witten, who suffered a lacerated spleen in the Cowboys' Aug. 13 preseason opener, is willing to have.
"If I get cleared, we're playing," Witten said Sunday. "It's the only way, I believe, you can approach the game. I think people know that's the only way I'm playing. This is what you play for."
A source told ESPN's Ed Werder that the Cowboys consider the recovery time for Witten's injury to be four to six weeks, making it extremely unlikely for him to play against the Giants.
Witten was a limited participant in Sunday's practice, primarily doing conditioning work on the side. Quarterback Tony Romo, noting that Witten has been discussing specific plays in the game plan with him, said he expects the Cowboys' receptions leader from the last five seasons to play.
"For me, it's kind of exciting to know that we're probably going to have him in the game," Romo said. "That's something that's important."
However, Witten said he wouldn't describe himself as "optimistic" of being cleared because the situation is out of his control.
"The reality of it is spleen injuries are complicated," said Witten, whose only game missed in his nine-year career was due to a broken jaw suffered in October of his rookie season. "It got to the point where it didn't need surgery. I think it healed quicker than people thought, but ultimately, medically it's a quick turnaround. You look it up and a lot of times (recovery from a spleen injury) is a lot longer than this.
"So I think it's just they've got to feel comfortable on seeing what I've done. That's why I've really tried to push it myself to try to speed up and -- I don't want to say convince, because ultimately, it's in the scan -- but put myself in every position to get that done."