NFL notebook: Saints WR Bryant reportedly hurts Achilles

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
FILE PHOTO: Dec 24, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) fumbles the ball after being hit by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

November 10, 2018

New Orleans Saints receiver Dez Bryant is being evaluated for a possible torn Achilles tendon, multiple outlets reported Friday.

Bryant, who joined the Saints earlier this week, reportedly suffered the injury on the final play of practice. Bryant was helped off the field and scheduled to undergo an MRI exam. An Achilles injury would be season-ending.

Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, agreed to a one-year, $600,000 contract on Wednesday and was participating in his second practice when he was injured.

A serious injury to Bryant, 30, could lead to the Saints taking a second look at veteran Brandon Marshall, who also worked out for the team this week.

–Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was cleared to return Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, according to a Florida Times-Union report.

Fournette was cleared for his first game action in six weeks after making it through a full week of practice with no setbacks to his chronic hamstring injury. He was not listed on the team’s injury report for Sunday’s game. Quarterback Blake Bortles (left shoulder) also participated in practice and is cleared to play.

Fournette has not played since Week 4 because of the injury and has appeared in only two games this season. The 3-5 Jaguars are on a four-game losing streak.

–Days after being spotted playing basketball in Pittsburgh, holdout running back Le’Veon Bell’s return to the Steelers could be imminent, according to team president Art Rooney II.

During an interview on Sirius XM radio, Rooney said, “I don’t know what his plans are, but I would say that at this point we expect him to come back next week.”

Bell must report by Tuesday or will become ineligible to play this season. Bell’s holding out after the Steelers failed to meet his contract demands, sacrificing more than $8 million in salary during the ongoing stalemate.

–Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is undergoing tests on his hip to determine whether he will be healthy enough to start in Week 11, multiple outlets reported.

Flacco was injured on the first series of Baltimore’s 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9. Flacco remained in the game despite showing visible discomfort on the sideline.

NFL Network reported Flacco has been on crutches and is dealing with significant pain. The Ravens are currently on their bye week, but Flacco’s availability could be in doubt for Week 11 against Cincinnati. That could lead to rookie Lamar Jackson making his first career start.

–The New York Jets know who will start at quarterback on Sunday when they host the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. The Bills aren’t so sure.

The Buffalo News reported that Matt Barkley, signed as a free agent 10 days ago, could start over turnover-prone Nathan Peterman and rookie Josh Allen, who is coming off an elbow injury. Allen is listed as questionable and Derek Anderson still is feeling the effects of a concussion suffered Oct. 29 against New England.

For the Jets, 39-year-old Josh McCown will start. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold (foot) was listed as doubtful Friday for the game. He did not practice during the week and head coach Todd Bowles said Thursday that Davis Webb will be signed from the practice squad to back up McCown if Darnold cannot.

–Former Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg has signed to play in the upstart Alliance of American Football.

The league, which starts its first season in February, included Hackenberg on a list of new players. A product of Penn State, Hackenberg was taken by the Jets in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but he never played a down in two seasons in New York.

–The NFL fined Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard $10,026 for his dancing and stomping on the Dallas Cowboys’ midfield star, ESPN reported.

Byard’s celebration occurred after he intercepted a pass during Monday night’s 28-14 victory over the Cowboys. Byard raced from the end zone to midfield after the first-quarter play. Several of his teammates joined him.

“I made the play, and I ran straight to the 50-yard line,” Byard told reporters after the game. “It was kind of off the wall a little bit.” Titans coach Mike Vrabel wasn’t too thrilled with Byard’s antics.

–The Los Angeles Rams called off practice in Thousand Oaks, Calif., due to devastating wildfires in the region that have caused mass evacuations, property damage and led to road closures that would affect several people within the organization.

Los Angeles County Fire officials announced early Friday that the 101 Freeway was closed and that one of the fires had torched some 8,000 acres and with zero containment. That fire began Thursday afternoon and had jumped the freeway just 12 minutes later.

The Rams (8-1) are still scheduled to play host to the Seattle Seahawks (4-4) on Sunday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

(Field Level Media)

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