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NFL notebook: WR Bryant hopes to return to Cowboys

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Former Dallas receiver Dez Bryant runs after making a catch during a game against the Washington Redskings on October 29, 2017. Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI

By The Sports Xchange

Free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant appears to be warming up to the idea of a reunion with the Dallas Cowboys.

Bryant, who was released by the Cowboys in April, announced over social media on Tuesday that his preference would be to suit up for the team again.

"I'll rather it be the Dallas Cowboys if not I'll be ready to play somewhere else," the 29-year-old Bryant wrote on Twitter.

Dallas isn't getting much out of its passing attack, as it ranks 30th in the league. Wide receiver Cole Beasley leads the team in catches (16) and receiving yards (185).

Tavon Austin has two touchdown receptions while tight end Geoff Swain and running back Ezekiel Elliott are the only other Cowboys to find the end zone through the air.

Bryant, who said earlier this week that he will "soon" be returning to the NFL, had public issues with the Cowboys this summer. He called out former Cowboys teammates and team executive vice president Stephen Jones in several tweets in late July.

What fueled Bryant's fire was part of a tweet from a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview with Jones, who said, "Dak (Prescott) is working on his game & accuracy. He has to trust the system. I think that was tough last year with @DezBryant in his ear. I think he'll have the year he had last year if not better!"

The tweet didn't include all of the interview in which Jones went on to say former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was also in Prescott's ear last year.

Bryant's response on Twitter to Jones: "Here we go with that scapegoat (expletive)," adding that the Cowboys' issue was "garbage (expletive) play calling."

--Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs because of a hamstring injury, coach Doug Marrone said on Wednesday.

Marrone also ruled out D.J. Hayden with a toe injury, marking the third straight game that the cornerback has missed.

Fournette aggravated his right hamstring during Sunday's 31-12 win over the New York Jets. The 23-year-old sustained the original injury in the first half of the season opener against the New York Giants.

Running backs T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant will receive increased workloads in place of the 6-foot-1, 223-pound Fournette, who has rushed for 71 yards on 20 carries this season.

--Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons said that he is hopeful running back Devonta Freeman will return this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing three games because of a knee injury.

Freeman practiced on a limited basis last week and Quinn said he expects his star running back to be a full participant leading up to the game against the Steelers.

One player who won't be on the field for the Falcons on Sunday is defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who injured an ankle in a Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

According to Quinn, Jarrett's situation is "week-to-week" and that he will be re-evaluated soon.

--The Oakland Raiders placed starting tackle Donald Penn on Injured Reserve because of a groin injury sustained on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

The 35-year-old Penn left the game in the first half but later returned, but left the game again and went to the locker room. Head coach Jon Gruden said the Raiders hope Penn can return later in the season.

Gruden said rookie Brandon Parker, selected by the Raiders in the third round (No. 65 overall), will replace Penn in Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.

--Matt Millen, former Penn State and NFL star, is stepping away from his Big Ten Network broadcasting responsibilities for the remainder of the season to concentrate on his treatment for amyloidosis.

Millen, 60, had served as a color analyst for the first five games of the season with play-by-play partner Kevin Kugler.

Millen revealed his diagnosis earlier this year to The Morning Call of Allentown (Pa.). In April, the newspaper reported Millen's heart was working at 30 percent capacity.

--Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis shared a positive outlook when asked about the health of running back Joe Mixon.

Mixon has yet to be cleared after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Sept. 15. The timeline for recovery is two to four weeks, with the math on Mixon adding up to 18 days on Wednesday.

Mixon was injured in Cincinnati's 34-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 13. The second-year running back left the game in the first half but returned in the fourth quarter and finished with 84 yards on 21 carries.

--Green Bay Packers defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing a second surgery on his ailing ankle.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Dr. Robert Anderson informed Wilkerson of his playing future, which had been in doubt prior to his second surgery on Tuesday.

Wilkerson injured his ankle after being leg-whipped during the second quarter of Green Bay's 31-17 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sept. 23. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Wilkerson was taken directly to the hospital where he underwent an initial surgery and was placed on injured reserve last week.

--Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced.

Goff threw for a career-best 465 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. The 23-year-old completed 26 of 33 passes and posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

Selected with the top overall pick of the 2016 draft, Goff became the first Rams quarterback to throw for at least 400 passing yards and five touchdowns in a single game since Norm Van Brocklin in 1951.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis captured NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was honored as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, and Oakland Raiders punt returner Dwayne Harris was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

--NFL defenses figured to eventually stumble upon schemes that make Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes appear human after all.

The Denver Broncos did just that Monday night for three quarters before Mahomes made an adjustment of his own.

The Broncos threw a wrench into the Chiefs' finely tuned offense, which leads the league with 36.3 points per game.

Mahomes led an offense that scored early and often and never trailing through its first three games.

At no time Monday night did Mahomes and his extemporaneous flair put on a more dramatic show than when the right-handed passer eluded the grasp of Miller and completed a left-handed pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: NFL notebook: WR Bryant hopes to return to Cowboys
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