Dez Bryant brings in a touchdown pass against the Cincinnati Bengals. (USA Today Sports Images)Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant will attempt to play through the finger injury he suffered late in the team's 20-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday. ESPN's Ed Werder reports that after seeing a specialist who confirmed that Bryant suffered a fractured left index finger, Bryant will delay the surgery recommended by the doctor and try to suit up this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The risk to Bryant is that if he re-injures the finger, he could suffer permanent stiffness in the digit. Some team officials believed that the injury might have been serious enough to end Bryant's season.
The 7-6 Cowboys are trying to stay in the race for the playoffs and for the NFC East title. Above them stand the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Dallas split its season with New York, and it faces Washington to end its regular season on Sunday, Dec. 30. The Redskins beat the Cowboys, 38-31, on Thanksgiving Day.
"One of the things that we know about Dez is that he's a tough guy and he loves playing football," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said on Wednesday. "He's going to give himself and our team every chance possible to play in [Sunday's game] and continue to play this season.
"We just need to get more medical information about how to handle the situation right now, the best way to handle it for now and for the future."
The Cowboys will limit the third-year receiver in practice on Thursday, and team trainers will monitor the situation. Bryant will likely wear a taped-up splint this week.
Bryant sprained the finger before he caught a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Bengals. After several disappointments and false starts during his NFL career, the Oklahoma State alum, selected 24th overall in the 2010 NFL draft, has really brought his game up of late. He has caught at least one touchdown pass in each of his last five games, and has established career highs in receptions (75), targets (109), and receiving yards (1,028). He has also matched last year's total with nine touchdowns.