Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has decided to delay surgery on a broken index finger, risking permanent damage, because he says a chance to make the playoffs now is more important than considering what shape his finger might be in for the rest of his life.
“The position that we are in, that makes me want to be out there,” Bryant said, via ESPNDallas.com. “If there was anything less than what we got a chance of, I would have went ahead and got surgery.”
NFL receivers have sacrificed their fingers for their teams before — just ask Torry Holt, whose finger permanently looks like this. But it’s becoming increasingly rare, in the increasingly safety-conscious NFL, to hear a player baldly explain that he’s putting his future health on the line because he wants to win now.
But Bryant says he practiced on Friday and was able to put the pain in his finger out of his mind.
“It is a mental thing,” Bryant said. “I felt like if I go out there and am worrying about my finger, about catching the football, there is no need for me to be out there. I went out today in practice as if there wasn’t anything wrong with my finger. I feel like that’s my mindset about it.”
That’s an old-school mindset, and one that will endear Bryant to Cowboys fans. Even if it’s not the decision a doctor would advise.