Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant participated on a limited basis in practice on Thursday while continuing to vow to play Sunday night in New Orleans. But sources close to the Cowboys standout tell FOX Sports Southwest that there are concerns he is suffering from a bulging or herniated disc in his back and that measures being taken to treat the ailment go far beyond "precautionary."

"C'mon, you know I'm going to play,'' Bryant said in the locker room while declining to address the specifics of his condition.

Bryant missed the Wednesday practice and FOX Sports Southwest is told he instead consulted with doctors regarding the problem. On Thursday he was initially scheduled to sit out the workout. But instead, he moved gingerly through the "pat-and-go'' (jog-through) start of the session. And when the rest of the offense readied for full-speed work, Bryant removed his helmet, walked to the sideline and reclined on the ground under the supervision of a trainer.

"It's bothering him a little bit off and on," head coach Jason Garrett said. "We don't think it's a significant deal."