We finally have firm confirmation on the extent of the injury to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. Coach Jason Garrett announced on Wednesday that Bryant has a slight hairline fracture in one of the bones in his knee.

While that sounds serious, Garrett later said that Dez is essentially day-to-day or week-to-week, and could even play this weekend against the 49ers.

Bryant, of course, missed several weeks last season due to a broken bone in his foot. He returned and was only mildly effective with the likes of Brandon Weeden and Kellen Moore at quarterback, then shut things down for the last two weeks of the season with lingering foot issues as well as a slight knee problem.

Bryant's injury is just the latest in a series of them for the Cowboys, who announced earlier in the day that defensive lineman Charles Tapper has been placed on injured reserve, and announced earlier in the week that left guard La'el Collins will be out for an extended period of time with a torn ligament in his foot. The Cowboys have also already been dealing with the absence of quarterback Tony Romo, who fractured a bone in his back during a preseason game against the Seahawks.

Dallas' lack of depth at wide receiver was exposed in brutal fashion with Bryant out last season, as Terrance Williams struggled to assume the role of No. 1 option and they had to turn to bit players Brice Butler and Cole Beasley for expanded roles. Beasley has been excellent early in the 2016 season as he has shown terrific chemistry with backup quarterback Dak Prescott, but his ability to get open on short, quick passes depends at least in some part on the attention Bryant draws over the middle and deep down the field. Williams has been his usual inconsistent self, even with Bryant returning to something resembling full strength.

Prescott has yet to show consistent chemistry with Bryant, but it would undoubtedly be to his benefit if the receiver can stay on the field, even in a diminished state. Dez's absence would cause defenses to load up even more against Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys' running game than they already have, putting even more pressure on Prescott to move the team up and down the field (which, to be fair, he has done a more than adequate job of so far).

The injury to Bryant also has to be worrisome for the Cowboys in a larger sense, and it is now the second broken bone in a lower extremity that Bryant has suffered since signing a big contract with the team last offseason. Dez is still in his physical prime (he's turning 28 in November); when he's right, he's one of the most dominant receivers in the league. But he's also played all 16 games in only three of his first six seasons and could be in danger of missing time in his seventh season as well. There are still three years and $50 million remaining on his deal after this season, and while it's extraordinarily unlikely the Cowboys will look to get out of it anytime soon given his age and production, the first time it's even prudent for them to do so is 2018, when they can save $8.5 million by cutting ties.