Witten iffy with foot injury

By JAIME ARON, AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) Cowboys tight end Jason Witten might miss Thursday's game against Oakland because of a sprained foot.

"I won't say it's severe, but it's something that worries us about him being able to play this week," Dallas coach Wade Phillips said Tuesday.

Witten has played 107 of a possible 108 games in his career, missing only a single week in his rookie season after having surgery to put three plates in to protect a broken jaw. He's played through all sorts of injuries, and once ran about 30 yards with the ball without his helmet, getting up from the tackle with his nose bloodied.

So his availability isn't a matter of pain tolerance, it's about the chance of further damage. Phillips said it will be a game-time decision and probably would be even if the upcoming game was on Sunday.

"As far as I know, it's a situation where if he's not well enough, he could hurt it more," Phillips said. "That's a big concern."

Witten was hurt in the second quarter of Dallas' 7-6 victory over Washington on Sunday. He continued playing and came up with two catches on the winning drive late in the fourth quarter.

He was held out of a light practice Monday and was limited Tuesday. If he can't go, second-year tight end Martellus Bennett would take his place and rookie John Phillips likely would take up much of Bennett's workload. The third-stringer has played often this year.

"It's good that he has experience," Phillips said. "Martellus Bennett showed up in the last game and had some good plays and some good catches. I think he's gotten his confidence going."

Witten's 54 catches are easily the most on the team. His 481 yards are second-most.

Quarterback Tony Romo has never played without his good pal in the lineup, so it would be a big adjustment for him. Romo also is dealing with a sore back after accidentally getting kneed during the first quarter Sunday.

"I think he's going to be fine," Phillips said. "His is a little different situation than Witten. It's not tissue-related or ligament-related. Whatever he has in his foot, Tony doesn't have in his back."

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