In his 10 years in the NFL, Jason Witten has played through so many injuries that a former teammate keeps expecting him to find some way to suit up for Wednesday’s season opener against the Giants.

But the Cowboys’ top tight end likely won’t be able to play through his most recent injury, a lacerated spleen suffered on Aug. 13. Witten returned to practice on Saturday in Dallas, but it still seems unlikely that he will play at MetLife Stadium when the Cowboys visit the defending champion Giants.

He reportedly has not yet been cleared to play by doctors.

Not that Giants tight end Martellus Bennett, a former Cowboy, is buying it.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he picked up his spleen and held it in his hand and tried to run routes,”air max 2012 said Bennett. “That’s the kind of guy he is. He’s a warrior.”

But the warrior is struggling to bounce back this time. The 30-year-old Witten was completely “idle” for the past few weeks, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, and is slowly rounding back into football shape.

“Well, he’s just been trying to work his way back into it,” Garrett said.

“He’s been running and catching passes,” he said. “Again, trying to get himself acclimated to playing football.”

If Witten doesn’t play, it would seriously hamper the Cowboys’ offense. He has led the team in receptions in each of the last five seasons and has missed just one game in his career.

“I know it hurts him that he’s not going to be able to play,” said Bennett. “But I’m pretty sure if he can hold onto that spleen and play football, he will.”

INJURY UPDATE

Receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), corner Mike Jenkins (shoulder) and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) all returned to practice, although Austin was the only one to work “extensively,” Garrett said.

 


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