Bryant, who signed a one-year contract with the Saints on Wednesday and practiced with the team for the first time on Thursday, was helped off the field after suffering the non-contact injury and reportedly was undergoing an MRI exam. ESPN reported that the injury occurred on the last play of practice.
“[He] just went down,” a Saints source said. “Freak deal. No contact.”
Bryant posted this message on Twitter: “Things was just starting to heat up for me… I won’t question the man upstairs… this is the ultimate test.. thank you everyone for the prayers.”
Things was just starting to heat up for me… I won’t question the man upstairs… this is the ultimate test.. thank you everyone for the prayers
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 9, 2018
The 30-year-old Bryant was hoping to resurrect his career with the Saints and was looking forward to teaming up with quarterback Drew Brees. Even if he was healthy, the Saints were not expected to play him Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but would have him make his debut the next week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April after his on-field productivity slipped in 2016 and 2017. The once-dominant receiver has not surpassed 900 receiving yards in a season since signing a lucrative contract extension in 2015 after being named first-team All-Pro in the season before.
Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and a career-high 16 touchdowns in 2014, the third straight year he surpassed 1,200 yards. From 2012-14, he caught 273 passes for 3,935 yards and 41 touchdowns.
For his career, Bryant has 531 catches for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns in eight seasons, all with Dallas.
Bryant’s last game with the Cowboys was the 2017 regular-season finale on Dec. 31, when he caught three passes for 24 yards.
If the injury is as bad as the Saints fear, Bryant would be the fifth New Orleans wide receiver to go on the Injured Reserve List this season, joining Ted Ginn Jr., Cam Meredith, Tommylee Lewis and Travin Dural.