Now we know why Dez Bryant's knee diagnosis took so long. The Cowboys wide receiver, injured on the second play of the game against the Bears on Sunday night, skipped out and missed a team meeting, an MRI and other medical treatment early this week.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett offered a circular explanation for Bryant's absences at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
"After the game on Sunday night he got some information about his knee and he suspected that it was a serious injury," Garrett said. "He's a very passionate guy, like we've talked about, and he really thought he was going to get some bad news when he got the MRI Monday morning. So like some of us do in life, at times, he avoided it. He didn't come in and take care of his business on Monday or Tuesday and then he came in on Wednesday and took care of that part of it."
Bryant was fined for the missed meetings. As for the diagnosis, Garrett said that Bryant and the team were pleased.
"He suspected it was worse than the information we got. We all were pleased with what the results of the MRI were once we got them," Garrett said. "It all stemmed from I think, his desire not to confront the situation that he thought he had."
While Bryant was out, Garrett said, the team had no direct contact with him, which is, apparently, standard operating procedure in these situations.
"We have different ways to talk to Dez in a situation like this," he said. "I don't want to get into all the details."
Bryant refused to talk to the media, but said on Twitter that he and Garrett had reached an understanding.
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I made a poor decision based on how I felt about my knee coach JG addressed it to me and I understood the consequences....— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) September 29, 2016
Veteran Cowboys tight end Jason Witten used one of Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones' favorite metaphors to say that Bryant's skipping out on the team was no big deal.
"There's a great saying inside this building by somebody I tremendously respect — let's not circumcise a mosquito here, you know? I think that has great value in this. As things go on, move forward and we all understand that," Witten said. "This game means so much to Dez Bryant and that's a relationship that I've really enjoyed over the years in seeing that and the brotherhood that you have with that. Dez will be back out there in no time."
Bryant's prognosis remains the same as Thursday. He might play Sunday against the 49ers, or he could miss as many as three weeks. His injury, now diagnosed as a cracked right tibia, is not considered serious.