This is the third in a three-part series, which has run this afternoon and evening, on critical injury situations in the NFC East as Sunday's games get closer. Part III deals with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, who has a broken left index finger and missed practice Wednesday as he continued his ongoing discussions with doctors about the best way to proceed. From my good friend and colleague, Mr. Calvin Watkins:
The Cowboys are trying to gather as much information as possible regarding Bryant's finger to determine whether he needs season-ending surgery or can continue playing using tape and a splint. If Bryant reinjures the finger, it could cause permanent stiffness, which would minimize his ability to catch passes.
"One of the things that we know about Dez is that he's a tough guy and he loves playing football," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday morning. "He's going to give himself and our team every chance possible to play in (Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers) and continue to play this season.
"We just need to get more medical information about how to handle the situation right now, the best way to handle it for now and for the future."
(By the way, I think it's funny when guys say, "One of the things we know..." and then list more than one thing. I mean, Princeton, right? Anyway, I digress...)
Obviously, neither outcome on this would surprise you at this point. If the Cowboys came out tomorrow and announced that Bryant was having season-ending surgery, or if he taped the thing up, played Sunday and caught two more touchdown passes. Missing Wednesday's practice won't impact anything, and he can probably get by without a Thursday practice as well. It's a matter of (a) if he can catch with a broken finger and (b) if he risks doing lasting damage to his body if he catches footballs with a broken finger. And it's perfectly reasonable for Bryant and the Cowboys to take as much time as they need to figure out the right thing to do.
Also of note for Cowboys fans, linebacker DeMarcus Ware missed Wednesday's practice with an elbow injury, and cornerback Morris Claiborne sat out with a concussion. So those are worth watching as well.