Jason Witten Says Spleen Not to Blame for Struggles, and More NFC East News

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

Sep 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) cannot make the catch during the third quarter of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cowboys Stadium. Cowboys beat the Buccaneers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Jason Witten has already dropped seven passes and been penalized twice this year, which is startling when you consider how reliable the veteran tight end's been for the Dallas Cowboys the last decade. 

Naturally, it's easy to assume that the spleen laceration he suffered in August is still adversely affecting Witten's ability to perform at a high level, but he refuses to use that as an excuse for his poor play. 

From Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News

Ultimately, for me, I've been in the right spot, I'm just not making the play when I need to," Witten said Monday. "There's nobody more critical of their self than me. When you have that opportunity you have to make those plays, one way or another. That's plays they expect me to make. That's plays I expect to make. I've made them my whole career. I just got to find a way to get it fixed."

Witten, who suffered the injury during the preseason opener on Aug. 13, said he is healthy and playing without any pain. The 30-year-old later added that he didn't think he came back too soon from the injury and that he has not had another scan done on his spleen since the one that was performed in New Jersey before the season opener against the New York Giants.

"No reason for it," Witten said. "It's healed."

The good news is this means Witten's healthy. The bad news is that this means there's one less reason to believe he'll get back on the right track.

More top stories from around the league's most popular division:


Dallas Cowboys

Tim MacMahon from ESPNDallas.com says that Dez Bryant's emotional outburst on the sideline Sunday was no big deal.

Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that with Barry Church down (Matt Johnson is also hurt, and maybe not ready for the spotlight), the Cowboys are looking for safety help. Maybe it'll come partially from Brandon Carr, who's cool with getting more reps at the position.


New York Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw is likely to return this week and retain the starting role ahead of Andre Brown, according to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News. But look for both backs to play a lot.

From Michael Eisen of Giants.com: As expected, Corey Webster is practicing in a hard cast.


Philadelphia Eagles

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer broke out the stop watch to reach the conclusion that Michael Vick is indeed holding onto the ball too long.

Maybe this will help: Zach Berman of the Inquirer notes that Jeremy Maclin is expected to return this week.


Washington Redskins

Finally some good injury news for the 'Skins, who found out Monday that Trent Williams is only day-to-day with a bone bruise on his right knee, according to Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times.

Dan Daly of the Times writes that every hit Robert Griffin III takes indicates how shallow the Redskins are on offense.