IRVING, Texas – Doctors have confirmed Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant will need surgery on his broken left index finger. The question is when.
ESPN reported Thursday that Bryant will try to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers and will test his hand in practice Thursday. Doctors verified Wednesday that surgery is necessary, but Bryant will delay it until after the season, the report said.
That’s in keeping with what Bryant said Tuesday in an exclusive visit with FOX Sports Southwest.
“It would take more than this to take me out. No way. They’d have to break my leg to keep me out,” Bryant said.
On Wednesday, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett revealed that medical personnel are working to devise a way for Bryant to utilize the “surface area of his huge hand” while protecting the problematic three inches of his broken index finger. Meanwhile, Garrett said, the coaching staff is drawing up a Dez-specific game plan (including certain pass routes and assignments) that would make Bryant’s injured left hand less vulnerable.
And on Thursday? It is a day of reckoning.
Bryant has not received a green light from Cowboys doctors (thus Monday’s executive-level plan to place him on IR in anticipation of season-ending surgery). But hand specialists are helping Bryant keep the window ajar while waiting for the swelling to go down so Bryant can actually practice at Valley Ranch and test out the options.
The club, and the player, are measuring the risk of permanent damage to the finger. Meanwhile, Bryant – a budding star with seven touchdown catches in his past five games – is certainly passing all the want-to tests.
“You know Dez,” Bryant adviser David Wells. “He’s not going to give up trying. More than anything in the world, he wants to play.”