San Francisco 49ers

49ers notes: Team may avoid Cowboys’ Dez Bryant on Sunday

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass during warm ups before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass during warm ups before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. AP

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Wednesday revealed that his team’s top wide receiver, Dez Bryant, has a “slight hairline fracture” in his knee and that his status Sunday is up in the air.

“We don’t think it’s something that’s going to keep him out for an extended period of time,” Garrett said. “But again, it’s going to be a day-by-day, week-by-week situation.”

Bryant missed Wednesday’s practice, though Garrett said the hope in Dallas was that the receiver “can do something” in practice on Thursday.

Bryant was injured early in his team’s recent win over the Bears and finished with three catches for 40 yards. He finished with more than 1,200 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns from 2012-14, but last year played in only nine games due to a foot injury.

Sunday’s game may be one in which the Cowboys are missing a starting receiver and the 49ers are down a starting cornerback.

Jimmie Ward suffered a quad injury Sunday, and, like Bryant, has been categorized as week-to-week in his recovery. Ward did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday.

Rookie Rashard Robinson or third-year player Keith Reaser are competing to start in Ward’s place. Both have yet to make an NFL start.

The Cowboys’ most prolific receiver through three games is Cole Beasley, who has 20 catches for 213 yards. Bryant has 11 catches for 150 yards.

Martin makes six – Chip Kelly said the 49ers always intended to have six wide receivers on the 53-man roster, which they now have after signing Keshawn Martin Tuesday.

Kelly noted that starting wideout Torrey Smith has been serving as the team’s backup punt returner in recent games behind Jeremy Kerley. Martin gives the 49ers a more experienced backup for now and someone who could perhaps take over as the primary return man later.

“You want to have a guy back there that gives you a chance,” Kelly said. “You don’t want a guy back there that’s just going to fair-catch it all of the time.”

Kerley has returned three punts through three games and has nine fair catches.

Et cetera – Defensive lineman Arik Armstead played only 28 snaps in Seattle – fewer than half of teammate DeForest Buckner’s 57 snaps – after aggravating the shoulder injury he suffered in training camp. He was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice but reiterated after the session that surgery is a possibility for the shoulder.

▪ Kelly said Vance McDonald’s hip injury was not a long-term issue, but the tight end’s status for Sunday is undetermined. McDonald did not practice Wednesday; Fellow tight end Garrett Celek (back) was limited.

▪ Smith (foot) was a full participant in practice. He briefly left Sunday’s game in Seattle.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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