Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has a hairline fracture in his right tibia. Bryant suffered the injury during the first quarter of the Cowboys 31-17 win over the Bears on Sunday night when his leg caught underneath him while being dragged down behind by Bears linebacker Christian Jones.
Bryant finished the game, even catching a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter, but underwent an MRI on Tuesday.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told media Wednesday afternoon that he doesn't expect the injury to keep Bryant out for "an extended period." Bryant could play on Sunday against the 49ers, or he could miss as many as three weeks. If he missed the full three weeks, he'd get four weeks off, thanks to the Cowboys week seven bye, and be slated to return Oct. 30 against the Eagles.
David Chao, a former NFL team doctor who now serves as an injury analyst for SiriusXM Sports, tweeted Wednesday afternoon that Bryant's playing before his tibia heals could be disastrous.
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I don't doubt @DezBryant might be able to play on the knee, after all he finished game, but IMO too much risk for further injury to do so.— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) September 28, 2016
Last thing @dallascowboys want is to turn hairline crack into displaced tibial plateau fracture needing surgery. Docs will do right thing.— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) September 28, 2016
The good news is that Bryant apparently did not suffer any ligament damage, despite initial appearances. Last year, after missing seven weeks with a broken foot, Bryant sprained his knee catching a touchdown on Nov. 8 against the Eagles; he wasn't all right for the rest of the year.
Assuming Bryant misses a couple of games, Terrance Williams will be charged with picking up the slack. With Bryant slowed, Williams had his best game of the season against the Bears, catching four passes for 88 yards.