Dez Bryant moved closer to returning to game action, practicing with the Dallas Cowboys for the first time since fracturing his right foot.
The Cowboys expected the star receiver to be limited in Wednesday’s practice.
“We’re going to give him a certain amount of work and see how he’s handling it,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said before practice. “We’ll try to give him more as we go, and we’ll see how he does with the whole day’s work, see what he’s able to do tomorrow. He’ll come in and we’ll say, ‘How are you feeling?’ You just monitor day by day, hour by hour, and determine what your next moves are.
“No guarantee that he’s going to play this week. We’re going to try to get through today and see how he responds to the work that we have.”
A bone scan showed Bryant’s right foot fully healed, Garrett said.
“Yeah, medically cleared to practice on a limited basis today, and we’ll see how practice goes,” Garrett said. “Excited to have him back, though.”
The Cowboys hope Bryant’s foot responds well enough this week for him to get back on the field Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. They had held out hope Bryant would return against the Giants last week, even though he didn’t practice.
The Cowboys could use Bryant. Without him, they are 1-4, while averaging 18.8 points and 216 passing yards. Their only 300-yard passing game came in the season opener with Tony Romo and Bryant on the field together as Dallas passed for 356 yards. Romo was injured in Week 2 against the Eagles and won’t return until at least the Nov. 22 game against the Dolphins.
“Dez has gotten a lot of attention, really throughout his career so typically teams will have a plan for him over the course of a ball game,” Garrett said. “When he breaks the huddle, they look for him and give him the attention he deserves. It’s easy to see why. He’s been a playmaker for us and done a lot of really, really, really positive things to help us win a lot of ball games around here.
“When a defense is giving one player that kind of attention, that opens up opportunities for other guys. Obviously when that player is not there, they can put their attention somewhere else. It all works together. Always has, always will. Run and pass, different players complement each other, and Dez has certainly been a big factor for our offensive success over the last few years.”
Bryant fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during the season opener against the Giants. He had surgery, which included a bone graft, on Sept. 14.
The Cowboys gave a 6-8 week timeline for his return.
Two weeks ago, Bryant traveled to Colorado for a procedure in which bone marrow stem cells from his hip were injected into his ankle to speed his recovery.
Nike, with the Cowboys’ consultation, fitted Bryant with a new right cleat designed to protect his surgically repaired foot.