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NFL Notes: Tony Romo out with another back injury, no word on return

Associated Press

Tony Romo is out with yet another back injury and it’s unknown when he will return, although Dallas coach Jason Garrett says he expects his star quarterback to play this season.

Garrett said Saturday that Romo sustained a broken bone in his back when he was hit from behind by Seattle’s Cliff Avrill and slid awkwardly on the third play of a preseason game.

Romo tried to get back into Thursday’s game and said afterward that he was OK. But Garrett said the 36-year-old woke up Friday with stiffness, and an MRI revealed Romo’s fourth back injury in less than four years. The injury will not require surgery.

Garrett wouldn’t rule out Romo for the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the New York Giants. Rookie Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick who has had a strong preseason, is the presumed starter, although Garrett wouldn’t acknowledge that either.

“If you guys remember, he has played with fractures in his back before,” Garrett said, referring to Romo’s quick return from a small fracture in his back in 2014.

“So that probably more than anything else is what is not giving us a timetable. We’ve heard a wide range of possibilities in terms of when he would be able to play.”

New York Giants 21, New York Jets 20: Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a touchdown pass to Eric Decker and the Jets’ defense stifled Eli Manning and the Giants’ starters in a preseason loss in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Both teams’ first-string offenses did very little in the last regular-season tuneup for most starters, but Fitzpatrick connected with Decker for a 22-yard score three plays after Darrelle Revis intercepted Manning in Giants territory in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 16 for 76 yards with the score and lost a fumble before being replaced by Geno Smith just before halftime.

Kansas City 23, Chicago 7: Alex Smith looked sharp in leading three scoring drives in the first half and the Chiefs got a preseason victory over the Bears in Chicago. Smith completed 20 of 30 passes for 181 yards before Nick Foles came in to start the third quarter. The defense strangled Chicago’s offense, and the Chiefs came away with the win after dropping their first two exhibitions.

Kansas City has one more tuneup against Green Bay before opening against San Diego on Sept. 11. But in what is generally the final dress rehearsal for the starters, the Chiefs dominated.

Baltimore 30, Detroit 9: Joe Flacco went 11 for 16 for 94 yards in his first action since November, but the Ravens lost tight end Benjamin Watson to a season-ending injury during a preseason victory over the Lions in Baltimore.

Coming off surgery to repair ligaments in his left knee, Flacco played in two series spanning the first quarter. He took the Ravens to a field goal in their opening possession and ended his performance by misfiring on a fourth-down pass from the Detroit 43.

Philadelphia 33, Indianapolis 23: With Carson Wentz missing a second straight game because of fractured ribs, Sam Bradford led the Eagles on three touchdown drives and to a third straight preseason victory over the Colts. Bradford has been virtually flawless in each of his three starts. This time, he was 17 of 20 for 167 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception.

Tennessee 27, Oakland 14: Marcus Mariota led Tennessee to scores on all four drives he played and Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes for Oakland and the Titans beat the Raiders in Oakland, California. With the starters getting their most playing time in the third week of the preseason, the offenses looked in midseason form while both first-team defenses struggled mightily.

Denver 17, Los Angeles 9: Trevor Siemian threw his first touchdown pass of the preseason and tightened his grip on the Broncos’ starting quarterback job in a win over the Rams in Denver. After showing off his strong right arm over a first half that included a 1-yard pass to Virgil Green, Siemian accepted hugs from his teammates and gave way to rookie Paxton Lynch, who was also impressive in his half of play.

Quick Kicks

The Falcons gave a workout to veteran free-agent safety Dashon Goldson and are in talks with the former Redskins starter about a backup role. The Falcons will be without rookie starting strong safety Keanu Neal, the first-round pick, for at least the first two regular-season games with a right knee injury. Backup Kemal Ishmael would fill in for Neal as the starting strong safety even if the team signs Goldson, 31. … Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson has torn his right Achilles tendon in Saturday’s preseason game against the Lions and is likely lost for the season. … Wide receiver Tavon Austin has signed a four-year contract extension with the Rams. reported the deal was worth $42 million with $30 million guaranteed.

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