Dez Bryant's rookie season ended early in the fourth quarter Sunday when he was tackled on a kickoff return. Bryant could not get off the turf and when Cowboys medical personnel got to him, they discovered he had a fractured ankle.
He is out for the season.
“I hate it most of all for him,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “because he needs to be in the practices; he needs to be in the games; and we need him in both cases. We’ll miss him.”
Bryant’s chances of winning the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award also ended with the injury, particularly with St. Lous quarterback Sam Bradford playing so well.
Bryant has battled injuries since being drafted by the Cowboys in April. He missed several off-season workouts with food poisoning and hamstring problems. Then he missed all the preseason games with a high ankle sprain.
He has also had back problems that caused him to miss practices and injured an ankle on Saturday.
If was the same right ankle that was fractured.
“Obviously that’s a big loss for this football team,” receiver Roy Williams said. “[He’s an] exiting player. Everybody stands up when he touches the ball. We have a great corps of receivers that can pick up the slack and we’ll be fine.”
Bryant had 45 receptions for 561 yards and six touchdowns. He also had punt returns of 93 and 62 yards for TDs.
-- Jan Hubbard