Dez returns to practice despite sore back

Updated: November 7, 2013, 1:32 PM ET

Todd Archer |

IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he did not believe Dez Bryant‘s sore back is a long-term issue, and the wide receiver was back on the practice field Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session.

Bryant was running routes in the portion of practice open to the media. How much he participates in practice will be known when the Cowboys’ practice report is released later Thursday.

Bryant has been bothered by a stiff back a few times this season, but it has not been as bad as it was in last year’s season finale against the Washington Redskins, when he did not finish the game and needed a wheelchair to get to the team bus.

“It’s bothering him a little bit off and on,” Garrett said. “I don’t know if it’s the exact same thing, but we don’t think it’s a significant deal.”

On Wednesday, Bryant said he would play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. A source also said the injury will not keep Bryant out of the game.

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (stinger) missed practice for the second straight day, and defensive tackle Nick Hayden missed practice with a rib injury that limited him on Wednesday.

DeMarcus Ware (quadriceps) was on the field for the second straight day. Garrett said Ware moved around well in Wednesday’s practice but was not ready to pronounce him ready to play Sunday.

Cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring), safety J.J. Wilcox (knee), wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) and linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck) also missed practice.

  • Covered NFL since 1997, Cowboys since 2003
  • Previously covered Bengals and Dolphins
  • Lives in Dallas area with his wife and two children

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