ARLINGTON, Texas – A week ago in San Diego, Jason Witten playfully pushed doctor’s orders by exiting the hot tub at the team hotel and then flexing and stutter-stepping in front of Dallas Cowboys executives.
They panicked at the sight of the All-Pro tight end apparent violation of the “still-and-idle” medical mandate resulting from him being diagnosed with a lacerated spleen … until they realized Witten was punking them, only pretending to exert himself in order to get a rise out of the suits.
Today, no punking. And soon, no more “still-and-idle,” either.
“He had a good appointment (Tuesday with doctors),” Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones told Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday. “Things are progressing. It’s certainly starting to look (like surgery will not be needed). He’ll go back for another appointment next week and see where it sits.”
On Monday, ahead of schedule after sustaining the injury in the first preseason game at Oakland, Witten was spotted exercising on the Valley Ranch sideline, working against resistance cords with team trainers.
Jones said that work will be accelerated starting Thursday after Dallas completes its preseason schedule with a home game Wednesday night against the Dolphins.
Witten, Jones says, “will do some good work on the field in the next few days. No contact, but work to max-out his body.”
This shouldn’t be a surprise coming from one of the NFL’s toughest guys – a player who once performed with a broken jaw. And yet it might serve as an emotional and talent-related boost if Witten is able to rejoin his team for a full practice in the coming days.
We’ve been told that the initial plan remains in place: A hope that Witten could return to game action in Week 2, when the Cowboys are at Seattle.
But the presence of Witten for next Wednesday’s season-opener at the Giants remains a possibility.
“I don’t think we’ve determined that yet,” says Jones. “It’s something that is ongoing.”
It’s a positive move: “Still-and-idle” has become “progress” and “ongoing.”