IRVING, Texas -- When the injury first happened, Cowboys center Phil Costa was a mess. He banged his head on the ground as teammates such as Jay Ratliff, Felix Jones and Orlando Scandrick came on the field to support him. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett walked onto the field, shook Costa's hand and patted him on the chest.
It seemed Costa's ankle injury meant his season was over as he tried to make a tackle on an interception return. Costa dislocated his right ankle during Sunday's victory over the Carolina Panthers. It was immobilized and he was carted off the field.
But Costa's ankle snapped back into place and now it seems he could miss anywhere from four to six weeks with a severe ankle sprain.
Costa left Bank of America Stadium in a walking boot and using crutches.
"We are more optimistic about Costa now than we were yesterday," Garrett said. "When that injury happened during the game everybody was concerned as he was being carted off. I didn't get a great look at what happened. But it didn't look good. Sure enough by the end of the night, last night, and by today we are a little more optimistic. It's a significant injury. We are not saying anything but that. But he sprained his ankle."
It's the second injury to Costa this season. He suffered a back injury in training camp, and after recovering he started the season opener at the New York Giants only to re-injure the back three snaps into the season. He returned to the field Oct. 14 at Baltimore after missing three games.
But if Costa is out for an significant period of time, he could return for the stretch run of the season.