Tony Romo will miss Sunday's game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, and will be placed on injured reserve, according to Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. Romo's status for Week 17 was uncertain due to a herniated disk in his back, but now it appears he will undergo surgery instead of trying to gut out an appearance against the Eagles in what is, effectively, the NFC East title game.
Kyle Orton will start in Romo's place, with the recently signed Jon Kitna acting as backup. Orton has not started an NFL game since 2011. Romo's placement on IR means that he will not be available if the Cowboys earn a playoff spot with a win in Philadelphia.
According to Fisher, Romo's slated surgery indicates that the quarterback may be dealing with nerve damage. Romo may have to undergo a partial discectomy, which could extend his recovery time. Thankfully for him, he will have a long offseason to mend.
According to one study, 74 percent of NFL players who underwent lumbar discectomy were able to return to competitive play, and did not show a significant difference in play upon return. Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on the radio Friday that Romo is expected to be ready for OTAs this spring.
The Cowboys had hopes that Romo could play this Sunday, and gave him an epidural earlier in the week in hopes of providing a quick fix to the problem. The injection apparently did not result in suitable improvement in Romo's condition, however.