FRISCO, TEXAS >> Dez Bryant missed medical appointments and team meetings over two days away from the Dallas Cowboys this week as the star receiver tried to avoid bad news about his injured right knee.
Coach Jason Garrett said Bryant missed an MRI on Monday and a team meeting Tuesday before finally getting the exam Wednesday. The MRI revealed a hairline fracture in a bone in his right knee, which he injured in last Sunday's win over Chicago.
It's possible Bryant won't miss Sunday's game at San Francisco because the Cowboys have had similar scenarios with injury in the past. But he was expected to miss practice for the second straight day Thursday.
"It stems from someone who is very passionate about what he does and he did not handle this the right way," Garrett said. "He expressed that to me. He expressed that to other coaches and teammates. You can understand why he did what he did, given the passion that he has for the game and for this football team and where he thought he was. I'm not excusing any behavior that he has."
Garrett said Bryant was reacting to the initial diagnosis Sunday night after the 31-17 win against the Bears. He injured the knee on a catch on the second play of the game but came back and caught rookie quarterback Dak Prescott's first career touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Bryant missed seven games last season, the first five after breaking his right foot in the opener. The foot wasn't the same all season, and he also battled ankle and knee injuries. The Cowboys opted to sit him the final two games when they were out of contention on the way to a 4-12 finish.
Garrett said there were "repercussions" but didn't specify whether there was a fine for Bryant, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract before last season.
"Dez understands he has a responsibility to be here," Garrett said. "He was completely well-intended. He's a driven guy and his response to this was not the right one. It was an understandable response given his personality and everything he puts into this."