Dez Bryant has knee tendinitis

Updated: August 21, 2012, 9:48 AM ET
By Todd Archer and Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

SAN DIEGO -- Structurally speaking, the right knee of Dez Bryant is OK, however the Cowboys wide receiver has been diagnosed with patellar tendinitis.

"Results of an MRI on the right knee of WR Dez Bryant revealed no tear to a ligament or tendon," the team said in a statement. "Bryant will receive treatment for patellar tendinitis and will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. No timetable has been set for his return to practice."

The Cowboys play St. Louis on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium and finish the preseason Aug. 29 against Miami. Typically the Cowboys do not play their regulars in the last preseason game. They kick off the regular season on Sept. 5 at the New York Giants.

Bryant had an MRI on Monday after leaving practice against San Diego during one-on-one drills after he stumbled, coming out of a route. Bryant limped off the field and headed inside the Chargers' locker room for further examination.

As Bryant left the practice field he was asked if he was fine: "Yeah," he said in a serious tone.

It's the second injury Bryant has dealt with in training camp. He was taken out of practice due to a tight hamstring, but didn't miss the first preseason game.

"Dez has been outstanding," coach Jason Garrett said of Bryant's work in training camp and the preseason. "He's been outstanding all through the offseason.

"Really came back and committed to being in the best shape possible. He's practiced really well, he's matured in a lot of ways as a receiver. He's a more reliable guy for the quarterbacks. He's always had the ability to make plays, as you know but when you combine that with the ability to be a consistent guy who can win on a consistent basis, and the quarterbacks have a trust level in him, he becomes a complete player at that position. He's growing and works hard at it."

Bryant wasn't the only receiver injured on Monday.

Donavon Kemp (knee) and Andre Holmes (back stiffness) also left practice to get MRIs.

The extent of all the injuries are not known, but it challenges the depth at the wide receiver position.

Starting wide receiver Miles Austin isn't practicing due to a hamstring injury and backup receiver Saalim Hakim is out with a broken finger.

It leaves the Cowboys with just seven healthy wide receivers. The Cowboys had a total of 12 on the roster, which now stands at 88.

"Miles and Dez are our slated starters for this season," Garrett said. "But we've talked many times already, injuries provide opportunity, and guys just need to step up and we have some young players who played well at that position (in second preseason game). When they get chances in practice, they got to take advantage of them and when they get a chance to play this week, they got to take advantage of it."

If the Cowboys had to play a game today, Kevin Ogletree and Dwayne Harris would project as the starters, but Cole Beasley has seen first-team snaps as a slot receiver.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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