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Update: Cowboys Anthony Hitchens avoids season-ending injury; 8 week recovery period

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Initial reports of a potential season-ending injury to Hitchens were premature.

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

When Anthony Hitchens went down to close out the first half against the Raiders, it certainly seemed as though he would likely miss the 2017 season. Reports surfaced of the organization fearing he tore his ACL, however, Todd Archer cleared that up:

Anthony Hitchens is scheduled to need about eight weeks to recover and will return sometime in October. This is actually great news for the Cowboys who were counting on him to be their starting middle linebacker. Hitchens had one of the better training camps as he solidified his spot next to Sean Lee. He also happens to be in his final year on his rookie deal with the Cowboys.

Hitchens has been one of the unsung heroes for the defense ever since he was forced to play early when Sean Lee tore his ACL a few seasons ago. In 2016, Hitchens started all 16 games, recorded 78 tackles, and 1.5 sacks. Hitchens has played in all 48 possible games of his career, starting 36 games in three seasons.

It will certainly hurt the Cowboys that he’ll miss at least eight weeks but the team, and Hitchens, fortunately, escaped the worst. Seeing as this happened two weeks before the season is set to begin and the Cowboys have a bye in week six, Hitchens may only miss five games. The Cowboys will now look from within to replace him and chances are that Jaylon Smith will probably contribute a little more than originally expected.