Ravens

Dez Bryant credits teammates for not letting him ‘call it quits’

Ravens

Dez Bryant said he was done.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver planned to “call it quits” in Week 13 after testing positive for the coronavirus just before he was set to face his former team in the Dallas Cowboys. However, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews and practice squad wide receiver Jaylon Moore were among Bryant’s teammates who persuaded him to push through it.

Bryant returned to the field Sunday and scored his first touchdown in three years as the Ravens rolled to a 40-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“One of the main guys who reached out to me was Mark Ingram,” Bryant said in a Zoom press conference after the game. “He played a huge factor too. He’s just a raw guy. The love he has for his teammates, that’s not a joke, that’s not an act. That’s a real dude and the rest of those guys, JP, Jaylon Moore…all those guys played a huge part. When you receive love like that, c’mon man. You gotta man up.”

The Cowboys released Bryant after the 2017 season, putting an end to an eight-year run in Dallas that saw him record 531 catches for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns. He signed with the New Orleans Saints midway through the 2018 campaign but tore his Achilles tendon in practice before he could even suit up for a game. Bryant completed his comeback by making his Ravens debut in Week 9 of this season and recorded his first catch two weeks later.

 

Bryant tested positive for the coronavirus during warmups of the Ravens’ Dec. 8 game against the Cowboys. Before the game even kicked off, he tweeted that he was considering opting out of the season due to overall frustration with his inability to play. He remained on the team, however, instead of moving to the COVID-19/reserve list where he stayed until he was cleared to return Tuesday.