Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant estimates that before his fourth-quarter touchdown catch that put the ‘Boys ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, he suffered a finger injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the season.
“I sprained it,” Bryant said after Dallas’ 20-19 win. “Taped it up, wrapped it up a little bit and just got back out there.”
Bryant had a splint on his left index finger, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. He will see a specialist to determine the extent of the damage, but team officials reportedly believe that the injury is serious enough to put Bryant on the sidelines for the rest of the season.
It would be a major blow to the 7-6 Cowboys, who are still in the playoff hunt. Bryant ran afoul of the coaching staff early in the season over some boneheaded on-field moments, but he’s caught at least one touchdown pass in five straight games — four of them wins — and he’s showing the explosiveness and production the Cowboys expected when they selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. He has 75 catches on 109 targets for 1,028 yards and nine touchdowns this season, which has been his best.
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As he prepared for Sunday’s matchup, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer compared Bryant to another famous Cowboys receiver.
“He really reminds me in a lot of ways of Michael Irvin,” Zimmer said last week on the Galloway and Company on Dallas’ KESN-FM. “The way he can go get the football, his acceleration, his run after catch, his strength, you know Michael was great. He used to push guys off. Dez seems like he has great strength when running routes in press. He’s made some unbelievable catches on back shoulder fades that [Tony] Romo has thrown to him. In the Redskins game, he caught that ball and ran about 65 yards. He turned on the jets on that one.
“I think he’s a tremendous football player. They have a lot of talent there.”
The Cowboys face the Pittsburgh Steelers at home this Sunday. They end their regular season by welcoming the New Orleans Saints to Cowboys Stadium, and traveling to meet the Washington Redskins in a finale that could decide a playoff berth in the NFC.
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