Witten will play vs. Raiders

Updated: November 26, 2009, 3:45 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON -- Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will play Thursday against the Oakland Raiders.

Witten was listed as questionable with a sprained left foot. The team was being cautious with Witten during practice this week because they didn't want him to damage the foot further.

Witten hasn't missed a game since the 2003 season when he was recovering from a broken jaw. He's played in 108 out of a possible 109 games since then. He is tied for second among tight ends with 54 catches and is 10th with 481 yards.

The Cowboys still want Witten to get a good warmup before the start of the game to make sure the foot doesn't give him any problems. If Witten can cut and push off well, which the team believes is possible, he should not be limited.

If Witten has problems during the game backup tight end Martellus Bennett will see significant playing time.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said he was confident that Bennett could play well in place of Witten, if necessary.

The Raiders placed linebacker Jon Alston on injured reserve, ending his season after two concussions. Sam Williams replaced him in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game, and rookie Slade Norris was signed from the practice squad but was inactive.

Oakland defensive ends Richard Seymour (lower back strain) and Greg Ellis (knee, shoulder) were active. Ellis played the first 11 seasons of his career for Dallas before signing with Oakland this summer.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Calvin Watkins covers the Houston Rockets and the NBA for ESPN.com. He joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers as well as colleges, boxing and high school sports.