Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will likely be sidelined for the rest of the preseason after suffering abdominal injury in Monday’s night’s 3-0 opener against the Raiders, according to multiple sources.
The Cowboys are conducting more testing on Witten, who injured his spleen after taking a hit from Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain. According to a source, Witten’s spleen was not ruptured but it was bleeding.
He will not require surgery but he will be sidelined for the next three weeks, putting his availability for the Sept. 5 season opener against the Giants in doubt.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed a sigh of relief after the game that Witten didn’t appear to be hurt from the hit on the second play of the game. He told reporters that he held his breath when he saw the hit.
However, it appears Jones may have spoken to soon as Witten was indeed injured on the play.
He came back and caught a pass on the next series and then was taken out when the rest of the starters were sidelined for the game.
But the bad news came when the Cowboys returned to Oxnard to resume training camp.
The injury is potentially a huge setback as not only was Witten the Cowboys leading receiver but they have little experience and little depth at tight end behind him after Martellus Bennett bolted to the New York Giants as a free agent in the offseason.
Jason Phillips will likely start in his place until he returns. The other tights on the roster are rookie sixth-round pick James Hanna and undrafted rookie free agent Andrew Szczerba.
RELATED: Harry Flaherty signed; Bill Nagy waived
The Cowboys moved quickly to bolster the tight end position for practice, signing Harry Flaherty and waiving injured guard Bill Nagy.
Flaherty is the nephew of head coach Jason Garrett and tight ends coach John Garrett. He may not be able to help in Saturday’s preseason game against the Chargers as he will Wednesday and Thursday’s practice adhering to the NFL’s three-day waiting period.
The Cowboys will only conduct a walkthrough on Friday.