Dez may not play this sea­son

Ex-cow­boy re­port­edly tears Achilles ten­don in Saints prac­tice

The Dallas Morning News - - Sports Day - Bye:

At the end of his sec­ond prac­tice with the New Or­leans Saints, for­mer Cow­boys re­ceiver Dez Bryant re­port­edly tore his Achilles ten­don, end­ing his sea­son.

METAIRIE, La. — Dez Bryant’s ten­ure with the Saints may be short-lived.

In just his sec­ond prac­tice with New Or­leans, the newly ac­quired wide re­ceiver in­di­cated in so­cial me­dia posts Fri­day that he has had a sig­nif­i­cant set­back.

NFL Net­work and ESPN. com re­ported that Bryant tore his Achilles ten­don on the last play of prac­tice Fri­day. Such an in­jury would be sea­son end­ing, if not ca­reer end­ing for the 30-year-old re­ceiver.

The team’s in­jury re­port listed Bryant as ques­tion­able for Sun­day’s game in Cincin­nati with an an­kle in­jury, but a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion said the team is still await­ing the re­sults of an MRI and a doc­tor’s ex­am­i­na­tion of Bryant. Sources told ESPN, the MRI was a for­mal­ity.

Bryant has in­di­cated on so­cial me­dia that the in­jury will be chal­leng­ing to over­come, writ­ing on his ver­i­fied Twit­ter ac­count, “Things was just start­ing to heat up for me … I won’t ques­tion the man up­stairs … this is the ul­ti­mate test.. thank you ev­ery­one for the prayers.”

Bryant signed with the Saints on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a work­out in New Or­leans a day ear­lier. Af­ter his first prac­tice on Thurs­day, he ex­pressed an ea­ger­ness to play with NFL all-time passer Drew Brees, and help a club that looks like a Su­per Bowl con­tender.

Bryant spent his first eight NFL sea­sons with Dal­las and in 2017 caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touch­downs.

Last sea­son was Bryant’s best since he caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 TDS in 2014, which at the time was his third con­sec­u­tive sea­son with at least 1,200 yards re­ceiv­ing. He signed his last Cow­boys con­tract right af­ter that, but has not ap­proached that level of pro­duc­tion since — a cen­tral rea­son Dal­las re­leased him in April with two years left on his five-year, $70 mil­lion con­tract.

If Bryant is un­able to play this sea­son, the Saints could look to sign an­other re­ceiver soon.

Bryant was signed as the Saints placed re­ceiver Cameron Mered­ith on in­jured re­serve. Mered­ith was sched­uled to have an arthro­scopic cleanup per­formed on the same knee that re­quired re­con­struc­tive surgery in 2017 and side­lined him all of that sea­son.

Ti­tan fined for Cow­boys’ logo stunt: The NFL fined Ten­nessee Ti­tans safety Kevin Byard $10,026 for cel­e­brat­ing his end-zone in­ter­cep­tion on the Cow­boys star logo at mid­field.

Byard said Fri­day the fine was ac­tu­ally worth it as the in­ter­cep­tion helped change mo­men­tum by deny­ing the Cow­boys a pos­si­ble touch­down. The Ti­tans outscored the Cow­boys 28-7 af­ter the in­ter­cep­tion en route to a 28-14 vic­tory Mon­day night.

“I ac­tu­ally kind of ex­pected it to be more with all the crazy fines that are go­ing on in the league right now,” Byard said. “I ex­pected it to be more than $10,000. But I feel like it was worth it. I kind of knew it was com­ing, but I didn’t know the amount. … It was a mo­men­tum changer. If it was $10,000 it was worth it, be­cause I’ll make that up on the back end.”

TV rat­ings see in­crease: NFL tele­vi­sion rat­ings are show­ing mod­est gains af­ter years of de­cline. Three of the league’s tele­vi­sion part­ners have shown in­creases af­ter the first nine weeks of the sea­son while one re­mains flat. That is wel­come news af­ter rat­ings de­creased 9.7 per­cent last sea­son and 8 per­cent in 2016.

NBC’S Sun­day Night Foot­ball pack­age has shown the big­gest im­prove­ment with an 8 per­cent in­crease from last sea­son. It is av­er­ag­ing 19.7 mil­lion view­ers, com­pared to 18.3 mil­lion last sea­son.

ESPN’S Mon­day Night Foot­ball is av­er­ag­ing 11.418 mil­lion, which is up 3 per­cent (11.135 mil­lion).

CBS’S Sun­day af­ter­noon games are av­er­ag­ing 15.713 mil­lion view­ers, which is up 1 per­cent from last sea­son (15.528 mil­lion).

Fox’s Sun­day af­ter­noon cov­er­age is av­er­ag­ing more view­ers than CBS at 17.299 mil­lion, but this is a de­crease of less than 1 per­cent from last sea­son (17.414 mil­lion).

The only pack­age that has sharply de­clined is Thurs­day Night Foot­ball. It is av­er­ag­ing 12.522 mil­lion view­ers in its first sea­son on Fox, which is down from the 14.134 mil­lion on CBS last sea­son.

AROUND THE NFL

Buf­falo: RB Lesean Mccoy ended his near two-week si­lence by say­ing he wanted to keep his frus­tra­tions to him­self in what’s been a mis­er­able sea­son.

Chicago: LB Khalil Mack, who has missed two games with a sprained right an­kle, will play Sun­day against the Detroit Li­ons.

Kansas City: LB Justin Hous­ton and S Daniel Sorensen are ex­pected to play against the Ari­zona Car­di­nals. Hous­ton has missed four straight games af­ter hurt­ing his ham­string, while Sorensen was added to the ac­tive ros­ter this week af­ter land­ing on in­jured re­serve in train­ing camp with a bro­ken leg.

Jack­sonville: RB Leonard Four­nette prac­ticed with­out any lim­i­ta­tions or set­backs all week, and coach Doug Mar­rone de­clared him “com­pletely healthy” for the first time since Week 4.

LA Rams: Fri­day’s prac­tice was can­celled af­ter a wild­fire forced about 20 play­ers and coaches to evac­u­ate their homes.

Seat­tle: S Bradley Mcdougald, RB Chris Car­son and RG D.J. Fluker head­lined a list of seven Sea­hawks play­ers listed as ques­tion­able to play Sun­day against the Los An­ge­les Rams.

File 2017/Tom Fox

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