Posted on August 27, 2016, by Travis Pulver
Fans of the Dallas Cowboys feared it when the saw the play happen, and now it appears that their fears have become reality. It seems that the hit by Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Cliff Avril did a bit more damage than the team initially realized.
Well—a lot more.
The initial word was that he was okay, and was held out as a precaution. As it turns out, he has a compression fracture of his L1 vertebrae and will likely be out for at least the next 6-10 weeks. Jason Garrett shared the news with the media during a conference call Saturday morning (ESPN):
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“Again it’s not related to the other back issues that he’s had (and is) very specific to the hit he took the other night at the game,” Garrett said. “And he came out, and he was lobbying to go back in. We decided not to have him go back in, and then he actually felt fine after the game. Then he woke up on Friday morning and didn’t feel so good and (the back) stiffened up on him, and that’s when we did the MRI. And that’s what we found.”
According to media reports, Romo is not expected to need surgery.
The injury is not being viewed as of the season-ending variety, and Jason Garett has said he expects Romo to be back at some point later in the season. When Garret made the announcement, he did not rule Romo out for Week One. Romo has had a back injury before, misses a week, and then returned to action; maybe he can do it again.
As of now, there is no official timetable for his return, but midseason appears to be the best case scenario. Typically, this type of injury takes at least six weeks. It all depends on how well he takes care of his back, how well it reacts to therapy, and if there are any setbacks. Ian Rapoport has said that he will likely need an epidural to play when he does come back.
The early word is that Romo is not even considering retirement, but at some point, he is going to realize (or his wife will point out) that he is old for an NFL player, he has an extensive injury history, and the hit Avril put on him was not that bad. If his body is going to break after something like it, what’s going to do when he takes a serious hit?
Winning a title would be nice, but he has already made $119 million. Is risking permanent discomfort or worse worth the risk that playing further would entail?
A better question may be, what does Jerry Jones do if Dak Prescott continues to play like he has in the preseason? Prescott is the preseason leader in several categories: completion percentage (78 percent), passing yards (454), passing touchdowns (5) and quarterback rating (137.8). If that success translates over to regular season success and the Cowboys are in a good position for a playoff run, do they bench Prescott for Romo when he is healthy enough to return?
Do you mess with something that is working?