Dez Bryant is on the cusp of the NFL comeback he’s been waiting for. The three-time Pro Bowler has been elevated from the Baltimore Ravens practice squad to the active roster ahead of the team’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Ravens signed Bryant to their practice squad in late October. It was anticipated that at some point the eight-year NFL veteran would make his debut but it wasn’t quite known when that time would come.
“When we feel like he’s ready to come up, in shape, knows the offense well enough and has enough compatibility with Lamar [Jackson] on enough plays, then we’ll bring him up,” Harbaugh said. “So, when it happens … I think it will happen. I don’t think it’s something you want to force-feed in there. So, we’ll just have to see as we go.”
Although his chemistry with Jackson won’t be known until he takes the field, the Ravens quarterback recently shared his perspective on what he has seen from Dez Bryant so far.
“Oh man, he’s a great route runner, strong hands, he’s dialed into the playbook; he’s always asking me questions about the playbook – stuff like that,” Jackson said. “He wants to compete. I just can’t wait until he gets out there with us on Sundays and fully practices with us.
Its been a long road back to this point for Bryant who hasn’t played in an NFL game since the end of the 2017 season. Prior to that he was a force to be reckoned with during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys who selected the wide receiver in the first round of the 2010 Draft.
Throughout those seven seasons, he played in 113 career games (99 starts), posting 531 receptions for 7,459 yards (14.0 average) and 73 touchdowns. Bryant also appeared in three playoff games with 15 receptions for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
After getting released by the Cowboys in April 2018, Bryant didn’t find another team until the Saints signed him in November 2019. However, before he could play in his first game with the Saints, Bryant tore his Achilles tendon in practice.
Not too long after his injury, Bryant vowed that he was temporarily done with football while he took some time to take care of himself.
Now it appears that he is in a better place and ready to be back on the field. He was especially emotional about his return to an NFL team when he joined the Ravens practice squad.
Bryant will be a welcome addition as the Ravens search for a spark in their passing game. Jackson’s main threats in the air have been tight end Mark Andrews and wide receiver Marquise Brown. If the Ravens want to repeat their trip to the postseason, they’ll need Bryant to help lift them from 31st in the league for passing yards.
No matter the outcome, it’s fair to say all eyes will be on his debut.