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August 29, 2012

Witten will get some on-field work soon, though he has not been cleared for contact

Jason Witten's lacerated spleen is healing, but apparently, he still does not know when he will be cleared to play a game. Witten had a scan of his injured spleen Tuesday and learned that he can get some on-field work, with no contact, in the next few days, according to Stephen Jones.

Jones told 105.3 The Fan that Witten still hasn't been ruled out of the Giants' game. It seems more likely, though, that the Pro Bowl tight end will return for the Sept. 16 game at Seattle given that he has another doctor's appointment next week.

"He had a good [doctor's] appointment [Tuesday]," Jones, the team's executive vice president, told the radio station. "Things are progressing.  …It’s certainly starting to look [like surgery will not be needed]. He’ll go back for another appointment next week and see where it sits."

Witten, who has missed only one regular-season game in his career, lacerated his spleen in the exhibition opener against the Raiders on a hit by Oakland linebacker Rolando McClain. He worked on resistance cords during Monday's practice as part of his rehab.

John Phillips, who has 22 career catches, or 674 fewer than Witten, for 163 yards and a touchdown in three seasons, has taken first-team reps in Witten's absence. Rookies James Hanna and Andrew Szczerba both could make the roster initially, with Witten's status for the opener in doubt. 

"You’ve got to be ready to go," Phillips said. "Step in. Next-man-up mentality. Ready to get out there and go."

-- Charean Williams

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