Frisco, Texas — Dez Bryant appeared in the locker room Thursday and seemed to be in a good mood, which was more than the Dallas receiver could say for the first two days of the week.
The 2014 All-Pro missed medical appointments and team meetings over two days away from the Cowboys this week, and coach Jason Garrett said he was trying to avoid news on his injured right knee that he thought would be bad but was better than expected.
Bryant declined to comment but kept a steady presence in the locker room for the 45 minutes it was open to reporters, at one point playing music loudly the same way he did last season when he was out with a broken foot and had a contentious relationship with the media.
Later, he sat smiling on a counter looking into the locker room while talking to a member of the public relations staff. And then he took to Twitter to try to explain himself.
“I made a poor decision based on how I felt about my knee (and Garrett) addressed it to me and I understood the consequences,” Bryant tweeted Thursday afternoon. He also called himself “day to day.”
Garrett said Bryant missed an MRI on Monday and a team meeting Tuesday before finally getting the exam Wednesday. The MRI revealed a hairline fracture in a bone in his right knee, which he injured in last week’s win over Chicago.
It’s possible Bryant won’t miss Sunday’s game at San Francisco because the Cowboys have had similar scenarios with the injury in the past. But he has missed the first two days of practice this week, an indication he’s unlikely to play.
“It stems from someone who is very passionate about what he does and he did not handle this the right way,” Garrett said. “He expressed that to me. He expressed that to other coaches and teammates. You can understand why he did what he did, given the passion that he has for the game and for this football team and where he thought he was. I’m not excusing any behavior that he has.”
Tight end Jason Witten, in his 14th season and closing in on the franchise record for games started, said he respected Bryant’s passion and appreciated the relationship they have.
“Anytime things like that happen, we all look at it and say, maybe we could do this different or do that different,” Witten said. “That happens. And every situation’s different. You handle it, you address it and you move forward as a team.”
Garrett said there were “repercussions” but didn’t specify whether there was a fine for Bryant, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract before last season.
Nickname hearing a step
The Supreme Court will hear a First Amendment challenge over the government’s refusal to register offensive trademarks in a case that could affect the Redskins.
The justices agreed to take up a dispute involving an Asian-American rock band called the Slants, but they did not act on a separate request to hear the Redskins case at the same time.
Still, a high court ruling in favor of the Slants could bolster the legal fight for the football team’s officials.
Suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon says he’s entering a rehab facility to “gain full control of my life.”
Gordon is serving a four-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
... The Jets signed former Lions wide receiver/returner Jeremy Ross and placed defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas (Michigan State) on injured reserve with a torn labrum.
They also signed wide receiver Myles White (Livonia Stevenson) to the practice squad.
... Bills coach Rex Ryan isn’t yet ready to rule out Sammy Watkins from playing in Sunday’s road game against the Patriots after the receiver missed his second straight practice because of a sore left foot.
... Running back Jonathan Stewart will miss his second straight game Sunday with a hamstring injury when the Panthers visit the Falcons.
... Randy Gregory has been suspended 10 games by the NFL on top of the four-game ban the Cowboys defensive end was already serving for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Gregory won’t be eligible until Week 16, before the Monday night game against the visiting Lions on Dec. 26.
The second-year player from Nebraska slid to the Cowboys at the end of the second round in the 2015 draft after testing positive for marijuana at the NFL combine. According to the labor agreement, four positive marijuana tests can lead to a 10-game suspension.
Gregory, 23, rejoined the team this month after spending time in rehab.