It's time to find out if X still marks the spot, because Dez Bryant is ready to mount his NFL comeback in 2019. Recently, the Dallas Cowboys legend noted he would eye mid-October as a possible target for making his way back into the league, sidelined in his first practice with the New Orleans Saints last summer with a torn Achilles last November.
The injury occurred just two days after he signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Saints, and seven months after the Cowboys opted to release him following a disagreement in offensive scheme with coordinator Scott Linehan -- who has since been sent packing himself. Bryant has since been rehabbing his Achilles while openly admitting in July of this year he'd hold off on contacting teams due to his battle with anxiety and depression, making it clear he'd return to the league if and when he was ready.
"I don't have [any] interest in playing football right now," Bryant tweeted at the time, following news of a conspiracy accusation against Ezekiel Elliott regarding a vehicle accident. "I have not reached out to [any] organization trying to play. People forget real quick we are still human. My anxiety and depression came from this type of stuff. I realized nobody cares but me."
As the regular season turns the page to Week 10, Bryant feels himself ready to suit up for a new team. Once arguably the most dominant receiver in the NFL, in his prime, the 31-year-old has come to terms with the reality of the landscape now, and makes no demands on being a starter when he does sign on the dotted line -- despite some reports that allege he requires it.
"I'm not trying to go [somewhere] and be a starter on a team," Bryant announced on Wednesday. "I want to contribute because I know I will be able too. I'm feeling good. In two weeks, I'm going to reach out to teams and see what happens. Let's go. X."
He's posted several videos over the past few months showing his progress in his recovery from a torn Achilles, but his latest doubled down on his comeback motives.
Because of his release and subsequent injury, Bryant hasn't played a down of football since Dec. 31, 2017, but remains a very. In only eight seasons with the Cowboys, and despite myriad injuries that sidelined him for several games in 2015 and '16, the former first-round pick amassed a franchise-record 73 touchdowns to go along with 7,459 receiving yards in regular-season play -- with a career average of 14 yards per reception.
Even when accused of having lost a step, combined with the aforementioned offensive scheme clash with Linehan, Bryant tap danced near 1,000 receiving yards in 2017, reeling in 838 yards with six touchdowns. That was enough for the Saints to believe he'd still be a key contributor if given the chance, and now he's ready to prove that's the case.
Bryant will call teams to gauge their interest before November concludes, hoping the throw up the X a few more times.