The whirlwind week that was supposed to mark Dez Bryant's triumphant return to football ended in heartbreak.
Bryant, who is set to undergo surgery soon, faces a 6-9 month recovery -- one that complicates his free-agent prospects for 2019. Sources tell NFL.com, the Saints would be open to Bryant coming back, though this is contingent upon the receiver being healthy.
"He'll have a full recovery and I know he still plans on playing," Saints coach Sean Payton told NFL Network's Kimberly Jones on Sunday.
The Saints liked Bryant, though they knew he wasn't in game shape and needed to lose a few pounds -- perhaps that contributed to the season-ending injury. Bryant's injury ruined a debut that had been months in the making.
Meanwhile, prior to that, Bryant had worked with receiving guru David Robinson on route running for the first time in his career.
"We worked a lot on his ball skills, hand-eye coordination to get his eyes and his confidence back after he put some balls on the ground last year," Robinson said. "And we started seeing a big improvement in his mindset to get him back to the player he was from 2010-2016, when he was one of the best players in the NFL."
Knowing he's not as fast as he was when he was younger, Bryant worked on route running technically to continue to get open.
"We started seeing more urgency at the top of his routes," Robinson said. "The Cowboys used him only on back-shoulder faces and slants, not using his intermediate route tree. They never really spent time on it. So he spent this offseason working on his craft."
Now, we'll all have to wait until 2019 to see it on the field.