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Dez Bryant active for Ravens in long-awaited NFL return

Dez Bryant’s long-awaited return to the NFL is finally here.

The former Cowboys wide receiver was promoted from the Ravens’ practice squad to the active roster Saturday and is active for Baltimore’s game against the Colts. Bryant will play in his first game in three years.

“I told you I’m covered confident and thankful,” Bryant wrote on Twitter. “I don’t care who hate it…”

Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler, hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 31 2017, when he was with the Cowboys. He has not been on an NFL roster since he signed with the Saints in 2018, which lasted just two days because of a season-ending Achilles tear he suffered in practice that landed him on the IR.

In 2019, Bryant didn’t sign with a team while he rehabbed and trained. He assured that he didn’t want to retire and planned to return.

Bryant can become the second Pro Bowl wide receiver to miss two full seasons and then return to the league since the 1970 merger, according Elias Sports Bureau research. Josh Gordon was the first in 2017.

Baltimore didn’t give Bryant a contract after he worked out for them in August, but the team invited him back in October and then signed him to the practice squad. Bryant has been participating as one of the opposing wide receivers on the Ravens’ scout team the past two weeks.

The Ravens could use a boost from Bryant, considering the team’s wide receiver group ranks last in the NFL in catches (117) and receiving yards (1,367) through the first eight weeks of the season.

Bryant, the Cowboys’ 24th-overall pick in 2010, accumulated 7,459 yards and a franchise-record 73 touchdown catches in eight seasons in Dallas.

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