Bryant (Achilles) ran with cleats Monday for the first time since he was injured, Kevin Skiver of CBS Sports reports. Bryant tore his Achilles two days after signing with the Saints in November and now is progressing through the middle stages of a long rehabilitation process. Despite his recent progress, the timing of the injury leaves the 30-year-old wideout uncertain to be ready for Week 1. Currently a free agent, Bryant intends to continue his NFL career and search for a new home when healthy. He hasn't played in a game since December 2017.
Coach Sean Payton said he can't "forecast the future" with Bryant, who is recovering from a torn Achilles, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports. Within days of signing with the Saints, Bryant sustained the season-ending injury in practice, never playing a down for the organization. He underwent surgery to repair the Achilles within a week, so he's a little more than four months into the rehab process. At the time of the injury, Bryant was expected to need at least eight months to return to full health, at which point he likely will make the rounds to find a new home. Payton didn't shed any light on whether the Saints will consider bringing him back to New Orleans, but the presence of Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Ted Ginn, Jared Cook and Tre'Quan Smith indicate targets would be difficult to earn in that locale.
The Saints placed Bryant (Achilles) on injured reserve Saturday, Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports. Bryant is expected to be out at least eight months, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, but an official timeline will likely come after the wideout undergoes surgery to repair his torn Achilles. The Saints will move on with a depth chart that features Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith, Austin Carr and Keith Kirkwood as their four healthy wide receivers.
Bryant is expected to miss the next 8-to-12 months after an MRI confirmed Saturday that he suffered a torn Achilles' tendon, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The injury occurred during the final play of practice Friday, just two days after the wide receiver signed a contract with the Saints. The 30-year-old will now begin a rigorous rehab process, with the outlined timetable putting him on track to be available as early as the start of training camp in 2019. The Saints promoted Keith Kirkwood to the active roster to provide more depth at wideout, but he's unlikely to see much volume in the passing game during his time with the team. Instead, Michael Thomas and Tre'Quan Smith should see most of the looks at receiver, with backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram and tight end Benjamin Watson also getting their fair share of targets.
Testing on Bryant's Achilles is viewed as a mere formality, with doctors expecting confirmation of a tear, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Bryant sent out a tweet that supports the notion of a ruptured Achilles, describing the incident from Friday's practice as "the ultimate test." He's listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday's game in Cincinnati, but he wasn't expected to play even if he was healthy. Now looking at an extended rehab timeline, Bryant may have a tough time generating interest during the offseason. He just signed a one-year contract with the Saints on Wednesday, doing well to land with a likely playoff team in need of help at his position. Bryant celebrated his 30th birthday this past weekend.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||@Los Angeles Rams||19||22.05|
|5||10/06||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
|11||11/17||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
|14||12/08||San Francisco 49ers||30||26.13|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||77||40||545||5||27||13.62||82|