Jason Witten will miss at least two Dallas Cowboys preseason games because of a lacerated spleen, coach Jason Garrett said.
Garrett ruled pro Bowl tight end Witten out of games against San Diego on Aug. 18 and St. Louis on Aug. 25 He will be kept out of practice for seven to 10 days, Garrett said.
Witten’s status for the final preseason game against Miami on Aug. 29 and the Sept. 5 season opener against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is still to be determined.
“It’s a very serious injury and we’re really taking this day by day,” Garrett said on the team’s website. “He has to be very still and idle. We have to make sure he heals as well as possible and as quickly as possible. He has to let time heal it.”
Witten was injured in the first quarter of Dallas’ 3-0 win over the Oakland Raiders on Aug. 13 when he caught a pass from quarterback Tony Romo and was hit by linebacker Rolando McClain. Witten left the game immediately, then returned for the next offensive series.
Witten, 30, has been selected to seven Pro Bowls and has caught 696 passes for 7,909 yards and 41 touchdowns during his 10-year career.
He has played in 143 games, missing one game during his rookie season in 2003 with a broken jaw. Witten has played games following broken ribs, sprained ankles and concussions, according to the Cowboys.
The latest injury leaves the Cowboys thin at tight end. John Phillips missed last week with an ankle injury, with only rookies James Hanna and Andrew Szczerba available for practice yesterday, the team said.