In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant speculated that he will begin to test his injured ankle in practice as early as next week. The rookie wideout has been sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain during the final plays of a late-July scrimmage, but Bryant stated during the brief interview that he plans to begin running again at some point next week. All reports seem to indicate that the former Oklahoma State standout is well ahead of schedule in his rehab, and he looks to be a good bet to be on the field in some capacity when the regular season finally kicks off.
Despite the whirlwind of hype surrounding Bryant during the initial weeks of training camp, the buzz in the fantasy community has slowly subsided with each passing day that he is not on the field (or refusing to carry shoulder pads). Owners who draft before Bryant returns could well find themselves a bargain in the latter rounds, however -- the high ankle sprain is not expected to be a lingering issue, and few receivers in the league possess Bryant's game-breaking ability and dominating potential. Granted, the Dallas offense is loaded with talent at the skill positions (and there may not be enough balls to go around to make Bryant a true fantasy star in 2010), but Miles Austin was in a similar situation to start 2009, and we all know how that panned out. Bryant is unquestionably worth a middle-to-late round flier in re-draft leagues, and should be an even hotter commodity in keeper/dynasty formats.