That’s news to Bryant, who had four catches for 59 yards and a touchdown Sunday to help the Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and pull into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East.
Two sources with knowledge of Bryant’s medical evaluations also told ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins that they had not been informed about a bone graft being necessary.
“Dez is going to have to have, more than likely, bone taken off of his hip and put into that index finger joint,” Jones said Sunday evening. “This is a fracture, but it’s not a ligament, so make no mistake about it, he has an injury and he has a serious injury relative to his hand. He’s certainly playing with some risk, but he was inspirational out there.”
Informed of Jones’ comments, Bryant’s initial reaction was that the owner was joking.
“Well, if he wasn’t kidding, I’m also not playing neither,” Bryant said. “Nobody (is) touching my hip. I’m telling you right now, you can get a piece of bone from somebody else. You’re not touching my hip.”
Bryant suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Dallas’ Dec. 9 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, returning to catch a touchdown pass that was critical to the Cowboys’ comeback. The injury was diagnosed the next day as a fracture that requires surgery to fix.
With the Cowboys fighting for a playoff spot, Bryant opted to delay the surgery until after the season. Bryant, whose fracture is in the knuckle, understood that waiting to have the surgery increases the likelihood of losing flexibility in the finger permanently.
Bryant has played a huge role in giving the Cowboys a chance to make the playoffs. He has caught a touchdown pass in each game of Dallas’ 5-1 run, recording 37 receptions for 584 yards and eight touchdowns in that span.
Bryant downplayed the pain he felt Sunday, when he wore a splint to protect his finger, and left no doubt that he’d be ready to play against the New Orleans Saints the following week.
“The finger feels fine,” said Bryant, a third-year receiver with career high of 79 catches, 1,087 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. “I’m strapping up and playing New Orleans. I’m going to get that out there right now. I’m playing New Orleans. We’re just going to be careful with it throughout the week and get ready for the game.”