The Dallas Cowboys seem to have been fighting the injury bug all season long. Now, it looks like they will be fighting a different kind of bug. Fullback Tony Fiametta will miss the game against the Redskins this weekend due to an illness, Jason Garrett reported today.
“We’re trying to get to the bottom of what it is,” Garrett said. “He’s been sick all week long and we’re just kind of monitoring those symptoms and we’re going to continue to do that to see what the origin is.”
The fullback, who was claimed off waivers from Carolina, has been a major contributor to the Cowboys rushing game this season. In the six games that he has been the lead blocker for Jones and Murray, the Cowboys have rushed for almost 146 yards a game. Contrast that with the 86 yards-per-game they had in the 3 games he has not played in.
Jerry Jones recognizes the importance of his fullback, “What I know is that it reaffirms how important a fullback is to what we’re trying to do offensively, what Jason wants offensively,” Jones said after last week’s blowout win over the Buffalo Bills. “This fullback is a big incremental thing. I’ve always known that, but there’s no substitute for a prototype fullback relative to trying to do it with tight ends. It just works better.”
For the Cowboys, they will likely use TE Jon Phillips in the backfield to act as a lead blocker on Sunday, a position he has played in the past. Jason Garrett also mentioned during Thursday’s press conference that they are considering bringing up rookie fullback Shaun Chapas from the practice squad.
The Cowboys will also be without two other starters as WR Miles Austin and CB Mike Jenkins will also miss this week’s game.