The Dallas Cowboys plan for rookie receiver Dez Bryant to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings despite not practicing this week.
Bryant said on Friday that he thought his sore ankle had recovered enough that he'd be ready to play in the matchup of 1-3 teams that were expected to be NFC contenders. A source confirmed Saturday that Bryant should be available Sunday afternoon.
Bryant, a first-round pick with 17 catches for 180 yards and a punt return for a touchdown, is officially listed as questionable with injuries to his ribs and right ankle. He has been playing with a stress fracture in his ribs since the season opener and said that is no longer a concern.
A high ankle sprain caused Bryant to miss most of training camp and all of the preseason. Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said the ankle was still sore before Bryant twisted it again during last week's loss to the Tennessee Titans, but the wide receiver returned to that game later.
"My ankle's not fine, but it's a lot better," Bryant said. "I can deal with it."
Bryant's progress has been slowed because he has missed so much practice time, but he said he has a firm grasp of his role in the Cowboys' game plan against the Vikings.
"I'll be ready," Bryant said. "We knew what the situation was. We knew what to do to treat it and everything. I got the mental reps, the meetings, got all of that."
Dez has yet to make a major fantasy impact. Owners who have him on their team should keep him on the bench this week.