Dez Bryant reportedly won't be making his Saints debut this week for several reasons

After sitting out the first nine weeks of the 2018 season as a free agent, it doesn't look like Dez Bryant will be making his debut on Sunday, even though he actually has a team to play for now. 

According to, the Saints have decided to keep Bryant on the bench for Sunday's game against the Bengals, which means his debut likely won't come until Nov. 18 when the Saints host the Eagles. Bryant signed a contract with New Orleans earlier this week and practiced with the team for the first time on Thursday. 

If you're wondering why Bryant isn't playing, there's a multitude of reasons. According to, the Saints would like him to get more practice time with the team so he can learn the offense and gain some chemistry with quarterback Drew Brees

The team would also like to see Bryant get into football shape. Not to mention, Saints coach Sean Payton apparently wants Bryant to shed a few pounds before he lets the receiver play. 

"He was a little heavy and that's pretty common. I think probably five pounds, without having gone through a training camp," Payton said this week, via the team's official website. 

When Payton was asked about Bryant's potential status for Sunday's game against the Bengals, he was noncommittal about he possibility of Bryant getting on the field.  

"We'll see," Payton said Thursday morning, via the New Orleans Advocate. "It would be hard for me to comment not having a practice yet. We'll take a peek and see how he does Thursday and Friday and fill you in Sunday."

If Bryant is sitting on Sunday, he seems fine with that plan. After practicing with the Saints for the first time on Thursday, the former Cowboys wide receiver said he's on board with whatever Payton decides to do. 

"Whatever he has for me, I'm getting myself ready for it," Bryant said, via

As for his first practice, it seems that things went well for Bryant, who hasn't been on an NFL roster since April, when he was cut by the Cowboys

"It was good," Bryant said after his practice in New Orleans. "Just knocking a little bit of the rust off, but it was good."

Although the Saints haven't decided when Bryant will make his debut, you can bet he'll be on the field by Week 13, and that's mainly because the Saints will be playing the Cowboys that week. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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