Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant will test his injured right knee in practice Friday, but he’s unlikely to play Sunday against the Bengals, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Bryant, who suffered a hairline fracture in Week 3, sat out Dallas’ 24-17 win in San Francisco last Sunday. The 3-1 Cowboys are now set for a more difficult test in the form of the playoff-contending Bengals (2-2).
Injuries have helped cut down Bryant’s production since last season, unfortunately, as the 27-year-old has suited up for just 12 of the Cowboys’ past 20 games. His statistical drop-off has also coincided with the more serious injuries quarterback Tony Romo has dealt with going back to last year.
Romo hasn’t yet taken the field this season because of a back issue, thereby paving the way for rookie Dak Prescott to take the reins. The fourth-rounder from Mississippi State has easily exceeded expectations, having completed 67.9 percent of passes and gone 131 attempts without an interception. Only 11 of Prescott’s 89 completions have gone to Bryant, whom Prescott has targeted 23 times, after the three-time Pro Bowl wideout picked up just 31 grabs and three touchdowns on 74 targets in 2015. Bryant also averaged a career-worst 12.9 yards per catch, which is up slightly this year (13.6).
Off the field, Bryant has reportedly exhibited a “pattern of irresponsible behavior” since the Cowboys drafted him 24th overall in 2010. The ex-Oklahoma State star has missed between 20 and 40 team meetings during his NFL career, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, with a source informing him that Bryant’s longevity is in question because of poor sleep and dietary habits. However, the Cowboys have stuck by the immensely talented Bryant, who is under team control through 2019 thanks to the five-year, $70MM deal he inked in July 2015.
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