Bryant hurt, could miss rest of train­ing camp

High right an­kle sprain ex­pected to keep rookie re­ceiver side­lined 4-6 weeks

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Stephen Hawkins

SAN AN­TO­NIO — Cow­boys rookie re­ceiver Dez Bryant could miss the rest of train­ing camp af­ter the first-round draft pick suf­fered a high right an­kle sprain near the end of prac­tice Fri­day. The team said he will be out four to six weeks.

Bryant be­came en­tan­gled with cor­ner­back Or­lando Scan­drick while try­ing to catch a pass that was thrown be­hind him on the next-to-last play of the day.

Bryant didn’t im­me­di­ately get up, and when he fi­nally did gin­gerly get to his feet while tak­ing his hel­met off, he took only a step be­fore fall­ing back to the turf. Bryant was reach­ing for his an­kle and gri­mac­ing in ob­vi­ous pain.

Though the Cow­boys have an ex­tended camp with five pre­sea­son games be­cause of their game in Can­ton, Ohio, next week­end, the in­jury could keep Bryant from play­ing un­til the reg­u­lar sea­son. The last pre­sea­son game is at home Sept. 2, which is five weeks away. The sea­son opener is Sept. 12 at Washington.

Scan­drick said right af- ter prac­tice that he ini­tially thought Bryant was OK be­cause the re­ceiver “started to get up.”

While Scan­drick then said Bryant had tweaked an an­kle a cou­ple of days ago, coach Wade Phillips said the rookie re­ceiver wasn’t be­ing both­ered by any an­kle is­sues be­fore prac­tice Fri­day.

Phillips said Scan­drick did noth­ing wrong on the play that Bryant got hurt on while try­ing to catch a pass from backup quar­ter­back Jon Kitna.

“(Scan­drick) made a play on the ball. That’s what we ex­pect,” Phillips said. “The ball was thrown be­hind the guy.”

The Cow­boys have two prac­tices sched­uled to­day and two more Sun­day, a week be­fore their pre­sea­son opener against Cincin­nati as part of Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame in­duc­tion week­end.

Bryant im­pressed on the field the first seven days of train­ing camp, mak­ing rou­tine and spec­tac­u­lar catches in in­di­vid­ual and team drills. He has also has been re­turn­ing kicks.

Dal­las was al­ready with­out the other of its top three draft picks.

Linebacker Sean Lee, the sec­ond-round pick, has been out the past few days with a quadri­ceps strain but hopes to re­turn this week­end. Safety Ak­wasi Owusu-An­sah, the fourth-round pick, hasn’t prac­ticed at camp be­cause of a ham­string in­jury while com­ing back from off­sea­son shoul­der surgery.

“The rest of the re­ceivers, we’ve got to step up,” re­ceiver Pa­trick Cray­ton said about Bryant’s in­jury even be­fore the ex­tent of it was known. “You never want any team­mate, es­pe­cially a re­ceiver, to get hurt.”

Cray­ton was given per­mis­sion to seek a trade and then skipped most vol­un­tary off­sea­son work­outs af­ter the Cow­boys drafted Bryant 24th over­all in April. But Cray­ton was at all manda­tory work­outs this sum­mer and has worked hard dur­ing camp.

Bryant was limited to only three games at Ok­la­homa State last sea­son be­cause of his NCAA sus­pen­sion for ly­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors about a meet­ing with for­mer Cow­boys star Deion San­ders. But Dal­las traded up three spots to get Bryant.

Be­fore get­ting hurt dur­ing the 10th prac­tice ses­sion, ev­ery­thing had been good on the field for Bryant dur­ing camp.

“We do have an ex­tra week, which (Bryant) has taken ad­van­tage of, be­ing here and learn­ing all those things,” Phillips said. “He’s ac­tu­ally done real well as far as as­sign­ments are concerned.”

Ron T. En­nis

Dez Bryant suf­fered an an­kle in­jury late in Fri­day’s work­out at the Dal­las Cow­boys’ train­ing camp at the Alam­od­ome.

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