Cowboys’ Bryant confirms he has broken finger
IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant had X-rays Monday that revealed the hand injury he suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals was a fractured left index finger. However, his status for the final three games is up in the air.
Bryant, who confirmed his finger was broken, doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play through the injury.
“We (are) just going to have to find out,” Bryant said in a text message, noting that he’d know more Wednesday, when the Cowboys return to practice.
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Pain tolerance isn’t the issue for Bryant. It’s a matter of whether playing with the broken finger would put him at risk of doing permanent damage.
If Bryant needs surgery, he will miss the rest of the season. A determination on how to proceed has not been made yet.
The team sent the receiver to meet with a hand specialist about his injured left index finger, coach Jason Garrett said late Monday afternoon. It originally had been feared that Bryant had suffered torn ligaments in the finger, sources told ESPN.
Bryant suffered the injury on a 6-yard slant route after he was tackled by Adam “Pacman” Jones. Television replays showed him shaking his finger and pulling on it as he lined up for the next play. He went to the sideline after a DeMarco Murray run and missed the next five plays. On the second play after his return, he caught a 27-yard touchdown pass to spark the Cowboys’ rally.
After the game, Bryant said he suffered a sprain and would be OK. Should surgery be required, it would mark the second time in Bryant’s three years he would end the season on injured reserve. He missed the final four games of the 2010 season with a broken ankle.
The potential loss comes at a time when Bryant is playing his best football and the Cowboys need him most. He has caught a touchdown pass in five straight games and has 75 catches for 1,028 yards on the season. He leads the Cowboys with nine touchdowns.
If the Cowboys don’t have Bryant for any length of time, the team will have five wide receivers on its active roster, with the most accomplished being former Pro Bowler Miles Austin.
Austin is third on the team in catches (55) and yards (819) but he’s second on the team with five touchdown receptions.
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Garrett wasn’t sure whether Bryant needed season-ending surgery or, if he did, whether the receiver would undergo the procedure.
“Well, it’s a medical decision first and foremost,” Garrett said. “The doctors are going to say, ‘Hey, this is what it is, and this is what we feel like you need to do,’ and then we’re going to say, ‘OK, well, what are the other options,’ like you do with any injury, and you go forward and you make your best decision, not only for now, but for the future. Dez is very passionate about playing. Anyone who’s been around him knows that. He actually hurt his finger prior to catching that touchdown pass that was a such a difference-making play in the game. He’s just one of those guys. He loves to play. He’s very emotional about the game, very passionate about the game, so we’re going to do everything we can to give him a chance to play. At the same time, there’s a medical decision as well that we have to factor into this thing, and we’ll do the right thing.”
In Sunday’s victory over Cincinnati, Bryant finished with four catches for 50 yards to go with his touchdown.
Bryant’s day pushed him past 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. Bryant, with 1,028 receiving yards, is 10th in receiving yards and one of just 11 receivers to have at least 1,000 yards this season.
If he heads to injured reserve, he will be the seventh starter the Cowboys have lost to injury this season, joining safety Barry Church, linebacker Sean Lee, linebacker Bruce Carter, cornerback Orlando Scandrick, defensive end Kenyon Coleman and punter Chris Jones.
ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon and Todd Archer, and ESPN’s Ed Werder contributed to this report.