IRVING, Texas –Three weeks of speculation will come to a head on Tuesday, when Jason Witten gets some final indication of whether he'll be cleared to play against the New York Giants.
That's better than the four-to-six weeks of speculation that was initially projected when he lacerated his spleen in the preseason opener at Oakland. Witten will undergo an internal scan before the team flies to New York. If there's no danger of re-injuring the organ, the expectation is that he'll be allowed to play in the rematch of the de facto NFC East title game from New Year's Day, when the Cowboys were knocked out of the playoffs by the Giants.
"If I get cleared, we're playing," Witten said. "It's the only way I believe you can approach the game … This is what you play for. You work so hard. I know what that feeling was like losing up there, and obviously it's just one game, but it would be great to get a big win up there, regardless of whether I play."
Witten was listed as having limited participation in Sunday's practice, going through individual drills and running on the side during the team portions of the session. After learning he wouldn't require surgery, he said he's worked to do everything he could to prepare himself to play as soon as he got the go-ahead from team doctors.
"The reality of it is spleen injuries are complicated," Witten said. "I think it healed quicker than people thought, but ultimately, medically, it's a quick turnaround. You look it up, a lot of times, those things are a lot longer than this. So, I think it's just they've got to feel comfortable on seeing what I've done. That's why I've really tried to push it myself, to try to speed up and I don't want to say convince, because ultimately it's in the scan, but put myself in the position to get that done.
"Ultimately they're going to handle it the right way."
Though Witten hasn't taken part in any contact drills since being injured, his work ethic has some teammates believing he's almost a sure thing to play in New York.
"The good thing is, J's been out here," quarterback Tony Romo said. "So, for me, it's kind of exciting to know that we're probably going to have him in the game. That's something that's important."
Had Witten not proved to the Cowboys that he was willing and able to play through whatever lingering effect the injury might have, it's likely the team wouldn't be considering him an option for the game.
"He's practicing well enough," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "Had he not been feeling good, then that would've dictated, probably, doing that CT scan, but the way he's doing right now, you'd probably do something like that."