IRVING, Texas (AP) - Dallas Cowboys rookie Dez Bryant is ready to play his first football game in 51 weeks.
Bryant will be catching passes and perhaps returning punts when the Cowboys open the season Sunday night in Washington.
It will be his first game since last Sept. 19. The layoff was caused by an NCAA suspension that cost him nine games at Oklahoma State last fall and an ankle injury that kept him out of all five preseason games.
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips says he expects Bryant to show he belongs in the NFL.
Receivers coach Ray Sherman says Bryant knows the playbook and is very excited. The coach expects one hit and a catch will help welcome him back to real football conditions.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)