An initial diagnosis shows recently signed New Orleans Saints wide receiver Dez Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon in practice Friday, sources told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Bryant will undergo an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
Bryant, who will get a second opinion on the injury after the MRI, suffered the injury while running a routine route in practice, sources told NFL Network’s Jane Slater. He signed a one-year deal with the Saints on Wednesday and practiced with the team for the first time Thursday.
Things was just starting to heat up for me… I wonât question the man upstairs… this is the ultimate test.. thank you everyone for the prayers
If Bryant is out for the season, it would be a significant blow to the 30-year-old wide receiver’s hopes to resurrect his career after sitting out most of the year in search of a team. It also would be a blow to the Saints‘ aspirations to strengthen their offense in hopes of challenging for the franchise’s second Super Bowl title.
Bryant was released by the Cowboys in April after his on-field productivity slipped in 2016 and 2017. The once-dominant physical wideout hasn’t surpassed 900 yards since signing a lucrative extension in 2015 — an extension fueled by remarkable numbers he racked up en route to being named a first-team All-Pro in 2014.
“For one, who wouldn’t want to play with Drew Brees?” Bryant told reporters. “Not taking away from nobody else, but a guy like Drew Brees. Like I said, you got a guy like Michael Thomas, [Benjamin] Watson, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram — you got those types of guys — little baby GOATs around here.”
The Saints signed Bryant with a view to bolster the spot, which hasn’t been productive since Ted Ginn went on injured reserve with a knee injury. Ginn last played in Week 4, yet his 22 targets on the season still rank second among the wide receivers on the Saints‘ roster behind Thomas’ 79. Ginn’s 12 catches are also tied with rookie Tre’Quan Smith as the second-most among the team’s wide receivers.
Smith and Cameron Meredith were expected to fill the void after Ginn’s injury. But Meredith wasn’t targeted once in the past three games before the Saints placed him on injured reserve with a knee injury as the corresponding move to Bryant’s signing. Smith has 12 catches for 214 yards and three touchdowns on 20 targets in eight games with four starts, while second-year pro Austin Carr has five catches for 62 yards on six targets.
The Saints currently have four wide receivers on injured reserve: Ginn, Meredith, Tommylee Lewis and Travin Dural. Given that a torn Achilles tendon is a season-ending injury, Bryant would be the fifth wideout to land on injured reserve for the Saints should the MRI confirm the injury.