Rookie receiver Dez Bryant has yet to see a live snap in the NFL, but that’s done little to temper the team’s lofty expectations for their first overall selection. Bryant has missed the entire preseason with a high ankle sprain; he returned to practice on Tuesday, but will be held out of Thursday’s preseason finale against Miami.
The decision to hold him out, according to head coach Wade Phillips, was motivated mostly by health concerns; but another factor mentioned by both Phillips and owner / general manager Jerry Jones is the fact that he is already considered a member of the first team offense--meaning his unit won’t be playing on Thursday night.
“I would like to see him play with the first group if he’s going to play,” Phillips said Tuesday, “but overall that wouldn’t happen, so that’s another determining factor.”
Which is to say, Bryant’s absence from the preseason hasn’t really changed anything, insofar as the rookie’s standing with the team is concerned. He’s not only a first-teamer, but a highly touted one. Jones, asked recently what sort of impact the team expects from Bryant when he finally does return to live action (likely the regular season opener in Washington), Jones cited Bryant’s showing early in training camp as a good harbinger.
"Same as he did in San Antonio when he got out on the field,” Jones said.
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