Dez Misses Second-Straight Day Of Practice; Other Cowboys Injury Updates

IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant was once again absent from the proceedings as the Cowboys went through a morning practice on Thursday.

It was the second-straight absence for Bryant, who has been dealing with multiple injuries throughout this season. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Thursday morning that Bryant's absence was related to those injuries, and not anything new he incurred in the 19-16 loss to the Jets on Saturday.

"Yeah, he's dealing with a foot and an ankle injury right now. We'll work our way through that day by day," Garrett said.

Bryant broke his foot in the Week 1 win against the New York Giants and missed the next five weeks following surgery. He returned to action on Nov. 1, and he suffered injuries to his knee and ankle while making a touchdown catch in the Nov. 8 loss to Philadelphia.

The All-Pro receiver has been limited or absent at practice on numerous occasions this season while he dealt with those injuries, but he had seemed to turn a corner in recent weeks. Bryant was a full participant in every practice heading into the games against Washington, Green Bay and the Jets, but he did not participate Wednesday and looked unlikely to do so on Thursday.

"We don't anticipate him doing much today," Garrett said.

The last time he missed a practice before this week was during the lead-up to the Thanksgiving game against Carolina.

"He's been dealing with this injury here for the last few weeks, both the foot and the ankle," Garrett said. "Based on how it was feeling yesterday, he wasn't able to practice. Again, we'll take his situation day by day."

Bryant's ability to practice in two straight days doesn't bode well for his prospects of playing against the Bills this weekend, but the Cowboys do have one more practice this week before the trip to Buffalo. Garrett said the evaluations will continue as the week goes along.

"Like with everybody, his situation will be strictly a medical decision," Garrett said. "If he's healthy and ready to play, he'll play. If he's not, he won't."
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Kellen Moore might not be practicing with Bryant, but he did get one of his other top targets back at practice on Thursday. Cole Beasley was present at Thursday's practice after missing Wednesday with an illness.

Jason Witten was also at practice after being a surprise listing on the Wednesday injury report. Garrett said he is also dealing with an injury and is expected to be a limited participant in Thursday's outing.

"He's been dealing with a chest, rib injury since the ballgame. So was not able to practice," he said. "More of a limited practice participant. And he'll be the same today."

For the Dallas defense, Morris Claiborne returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday. Claiborne has been nursing a hamstring injury since the Dec. 13 loss to Green Bay, and Garrett said the fourth-year corner will likely be limited for Thursday.

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