Cowboys TE Jason Witten suffered a spleen injury in Monday's preseason game and could miss the team's regular-season opener, a team source told ESPN's Ed Werder.
The Cowboys still have not determined the seriousness of the injury, although early evaluations have indicated that Witten's spleen is not ruptured, according to the source. The star tight end is experiencing internal bleeding but still could avoid surgery, the source told Werder.
If surgery is not required, Witten is expected to miss up to three weeks but likely would be available for the season opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 5. But if the bleeding continues and he needs surgery, Witten would be sidelined indefinitely, according to the source.
Ideally, Witten can avoid surgery and his value will be largely unaffected. If Witten does have surgery, it could be done laparoscopically, which is less invasive than open surgery. Either way, recovery from surgery generally takes 4 to 6 weeks. If he were to have surgery at the beginning of next week, he would then be able to return somewhere in the Week 2 to Week 4 range. Given the depth at the tight end position, there's no reason for fantasy owners to draft Witten as a TE1. Owners who do draft him should make sure they have a solid TE2 in place.