Cowboys' Witten unable to stay in game after rib injury

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was knocked out of Sunday's game because of a rib injury, though he's hopeful that it is not bad enough to keep him from missing a game.

"I took a shot. It doesn't feel good right now, obviously," Witten said after the Cowboys' 13-9 victory over Tampa Bay. "I'm hoping for the best and hopefully get back to it next week,"

After Witten was hurt at the end of the first quarter, it was announced that he had bruised ribs. But the four-time Pro Bowl tight end said after the game that he planned to get some tests to "find out what it is. I don't know."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said cornerback Anthony Henry, who left in the third quarter with a bruised thigh, would be doubtful for next week's road game against the rival New York Giants.

The only notable injury for the Buccaneers was safety Jermaine Phillips, who left with an arm injury.

"I'm worried about him," coach Jon Gruden said, without elaborating about the type or extent of Phillips' injury.

With the Cowboys already playing without Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo (broken pinkie on throwing hand), Witten got hurt on one of the last two plays of the first quarter, either his 8-yard catch or blocking on a running play.

"I didn't feel it until the next play, so I don't know if it was during that next blocking play or it was during the catch," Witten said.

Teams trainers looked at him on the sideline before taking him into the locker room. X-rays were negative, and Witten returned to the sideline before halftime, though he went back into the locker room before the two-minute warning.

Witten got back on the field for the Cowboys' first play after halftime, lined up as a fullback. He took part in several plays that series, but didn't play again after that.

"I tried to doctor it up a little bit at halftime and come out, but just didn't have it in me," Witten said. "I've just got to fight through and hopefully get back to it next week."

In the Cowboys home opener against Philadelphia, Witten left midway through the second quarter with a separated shoulder. He took a shot to kill the pain, caught a long pass to set up a field goal just before halftime, and had another big catch that set up the winning score in a 41-37 victory.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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