Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant says he will play with a broken finger Sunday against Pittsburgh and there are signs that it might not be wishful thinking.
Bryant was listed as a limited participant in practice Thursday, an upgrade from a day earlier, when he sat out. Dallas coach Jason Garrett said he caught some passes in practice after saying before the workout he didn't think Bryant would.
The third-year pro fractured his left index finger in last weekend's 20-19 win at Cincinnati, but he caught a touchdown after getting injured. He will need surgery, but the question remains whether he can try to play through the injury and have surgery after the season.
It didn't seem like much of a question in Bryant's mind Thursday.
"Only thing y'all need to know is I'm playing," he said while ducking in and out of the locker room without stopping for interviews.
Bryant was the last player on the field for the open portion of practice, and he was wearing a padded white glove that had the tip of the finger exposed. Several players said he looked good catching passes.
"There are different ways to catch a ball," quarterback Tony Romo said. "He can probably tell you better than anybody just how to catch a football. I trust him. If he's going to put himself in that position, I know he's going to find a way to play at a certain level."
Bryant wants to keep playing for two reasons: the Cowboys (7-6) still have a shot at the playoffs, and he's in the best stretch of his career. The third-year pro has his first 1,000-yard season and has scored in a career-best five straight games.
Dallas has won four of five, and Bryant has 33 catches for 525 yards and seven TDs in that stretch.
"He certainly has a willingness to play," Garrett said. "We've just got to see if he can function the way he needs to."