Dez may not play this season
Ex-cowboy reportedly tears Achilles tendon in Saints practice
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.