Witten wearing protective gear, starts for Cowboys vs. Giants

Despite being informed earlier in the day by head coach Wade Phillips that he should not expect to play, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten took painkilling injections for his fractured rib and was fitted with protective gear so that he could start against the New York Giants.

Witten has started 83 consecutive games, missing one game his rookie year following surgery to repair a broken jaw.

Witten was unable to practice during the week and there was some thought the Cowboys might be conservative and hold Witten out so that he could be healthy following the bye week when Tony Romo, Felix Jones and Terence Newman are expected to return from injuries.

Ed Werder covers the NFL for ESPN.