IRVING, Texas– On Monday of this week, tight end Jason Witten was getting around Valley Ranch with crutches.
Six days later, Witten is fully expecting to be in uniform and in the starting lineup against the Falcons.
"I'm confident I'll be able to play," said Witten, who is dealing with two ankle injuries and a banged-up knee. "My focus has been playing at a high level and getting through a normal week and locking in on Atlanta. Nothing different than any other teammates. I expect that from them and they expect that from me."
Witten sustained the injuries last week in Philly, causing him to miss two snaps. He's been limited in practice this week but the smile on his face suggests he will be out there once again.
Witten has not missed a game since his rookie season in 2003 when he suffered a broken jaw. The veteran has played through broken ribs, a spleen injury, a high-ankle sprain and various other setbacks along the way but has managed to play in 189 consecutive games.
"Yeah I'm feeling good. I had a good day today," Witten said in front of his locker on Thursday. "It's getting better every day. We're working on Atlanta. Getting comfortable with Brandon (Weeden) in there."
[embeddedad0]Witten understands the losses the offense has sustained the last two games with Dez Bryant (foot) and Tony Romo (collarbone). But as one of the offensive captains of this team, Witten knows it's up to him to make sure there is no dropoff. And even he knows that can be easier said than done.
"They were tough blows losing both of those guys, obviously," Witten said. "I think this team, Coach Garrett has built this team on that mindset – mental toughness and being able to step in when you have an opportunity. You don't replace guys like that. Those are your franchise players and some of the best in the league at their position. It does create opportunity and I'm confident guys are going to step in. this team will rally around that."