Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens will now only be out eight weeks after suffering what was originally believed to be a season-ending knee injury.
It was a grim sight Saturday night as Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens laid on the AT&T Stadium’s field in obvious pain, being attended to by the team’s medical staff. Hitchens injured his right knee in the Cowboys preseason matchup against the Oakland Raiders.
The fourth-year veteran hobbled off the field with the help of two staff members and headed directly to get an x-ray. It was originally feared Hitchens had suffered a torn ACL, which would have instantly ended his season.
But following an MRI on Sunday, it’s being widely reported that Hitchens in fact suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee. And that his expected recovery time in eight weeks.
Although this is still bad news for the former fourth rounder out of Iowa, it’s much better than the prospect of missing the entire season. It’s likely Dallas will place Hitchens on the injured reserve – designated for return list, which will allow the 25-year old to return after eight weeks into the regular season. That would put his possible return date somewhere in November.
With Hitchens sidelined, the Cowboys will likely replace him in the starting lineup with some combination of veteran Justin Durant and second-year phenom Jaylon Smith. Also in consideration for extra time will be Damien Wilson, Mark Nzeocha and Kyle Wilber.
The injury could be cost Anthony Hitchens more than just playing time as the young linebacker is in the final year of his rookie contract. Scheduled to become a free agent next season, Hitchens was on pace to have a career-year in Dallas. Not only was he slated to be the Cowboys starting middle linebacker, but he was coming off his best training camp performance as a professional. Due to this injury, Hitchens will probably not be able to “cash in” as much as he hoped next offseason.