Dez Bryant injury explained

In last weekend’s game against, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant reeled in a pass and was breaking tackles toward the sideline when he sustained this injury to his right knee.


In this clip, Bryant is brought down by Bears ILB Christian Jones. As Jones slides to tackle him, the wide receiver’s right lower leg is struck by Jones and his knee bends in a valgus (bends inward) direction. A pure valgus stress on the knee most commonly leads to a sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) of the knee. (for more on the anatomy of this please see my previous post More Week 3 Injuries) Bryant returned to the game 6 plays later with his right knee taped. This is a common treatment for acute MCL sprains. Mild sprains are mostly a pain tolerance issue, so bracing and possibly a shot of Toradol (strong anti-inflammatory) can help players return quickly. Bryant was pretty quiet the rest of the game, mostly just running decoy routes, until he caught a 20-yard pass for a touchdown in the 4th quarter.

Bryant seemed optimistic about his knee in a postgame conference. Everyone thought no news was good news on Monday and Tuesday when no MRI results were reported. Unfortunately, reports surfaced that Bryant had not shown up for treatment and MRI on Monday and the imaging study was finally performed on Wednesday morning. The MRI reportedly revealed a “hairline fracture” in his knee and estimates on return to play range from this Sunday to 6 weeks. Fans and media alike have questions – how was he able to continue to play on a fractured knee and how can an injury that the wide receiver played on for 3 quarters of a game possibly keep him out for 6 weeks?


For more injury analysis please follow me on Twitter @jessdeede


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