ARLINGTON, Texas — Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo practiced Monday, with his left eye looking better after his second bout with a sty that kept him out of practice for a day early in training camp a month ago.
He doesn’t figure to miss any important action with the minor infection, particularly considering he once finished a game with cracked ribs and a punctured lung. But it has become something of a curiosity.
“I guess the quirky nature of it is it keeps coming back,” coach Jason Garrett said. “But he’ll be fine.”
Romo won’t play again until the season opener Sept. 13 at home against the New York Giants after throwing for two touchdowns in a 28-14 preseason loss to Minnesota on Saturday. The final exhibition game Thursday night against Houston will be reserved mostly for backups.
But the 35-year-old Romo likely wouldn’t need any recovery time anyway.
“We all know he’s a tough dude,” said backup Brandon Weeden, who was sidelined last week by a concussion but is planning to play against the Texans. “So I think he can handle a little bump on his eye.”
And it’s highly unlikely to affect his vision, said Dr. Sai Chavala of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He said the only way it would be a problem is if the sty grew large enough to affect the eyeball.
“That would be very, very unlikely,” said Chavala, an ophthalmologist at the North Texas Eye Research Institute and the Retina Center of Texas. “I would definitely say that it’s usually not visually threatening.”
A sty develops when oil glands that help keep eyes moist get clogged under the eyelid and the oil becomes infected. Chavala said some people can see a recurrence once they’ve had a sty. The best treatment to avoid a recurrence is washing the eye gently with baby shampoo.
“I would just say it’s a very common problem,” Chavala said. “It’s one of the most common problems eye care providers encounter.”
Romo said after the Minnesota game he planned to see an ophthalmologist this week, and suggested he might have the sty removed. Chavala said that is an option through a small cut after the area around the eye is deadened with a painkiller. The cut drains the infected area, and an antibiotic is generally used to treat the infection as well.
The eye certainly wasn’t an issue for Romo against the Vikings. After getting just three snaps through the first two games combined, he was 5 of 8 for 88 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown to Terrance Williams.
Both scores — the other was to rookie Lucky Whitehead — came after three unproductive series to start the game, and he showed the same elusiveness he has throughout his career after his busiest offseason in three years following back surgeries that limited him in 2013 and 2014.
“It’s beneficial,” Romo said after the Minnesota game. “The stuff you got to work on to get better individually. You need to play and you need to practice on those things. It’s a trial and error and you see if you are trying to hold up.”
NOTES: The Cowboys activated LB Rolando McClain off the physically unable to perform list. He was a limited participant in his first practice Monday. He will be inactive again starting next week because of his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. … The Cowboys released WR Phil Bates, P Tom Hornsey, long snapper Casey Kreiter, CB Robert Steeples and DT Carlif Taylor. They are at 84 players heading into Tuesday, when rosters have to be cut to 75.