Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott practiced again on Thursday, telling reporters that he pushed his strained calf even harder than the previous day, in an attempt to simulate the demands of a game as best he could.
And while he came out of the day’s work seemingly fine, he went on record as saying that a final decision on whether he plays Sunday night will likely not come until Saturday, the day the team is scheduled to depart for Minnesota.
Prescott told media members after the Thursday session that he believes the calf injury, which occurred on the final play of overtime in the Cowboys’ Week 6 overtime win in New England, is related to the ankle dislocation and compound fracture he sustained in the same leg last October.
While Prescott wore a protective boot for his postgame press conference in Foxborough, he dismissed the injury at the time, saying he could have played on had the game not ended when it did on a touchdown pass to wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
On Thursday, he took a similar tack, stating that if Sunday’s game were a playoff matchup, his status “would be no question,” and he would “100 percent” be playing, as per ProFootballTalk’s Charean Williams.
Prescott got an MRI the day after the injury, and while the results were deemed “optimistic,” the injury appears to be causing more concern in Dallas than originally revealed. Prescott spent the bye week rehabbing in a pool and wasn’t a full participant in practice either Wednesday or Thursday.
“I’m doing everything I can to make sure I give myself the best chance,” he was quoted as saying by the team website.
Head coach Mike McCarthy has said that the team plans to prepare both Prescott and backup quarterback Cooper Rush as if each is going to play.
The team’s 5-1 record and healthy lead in the NFC East have caused many to suggest that Prescott should sit out the Week 8 game as a precaution, if only to further ensure that the calf is fully healed and that he won’t exacerbate the injury, possibly taking himself out for an even longer stretch of games as the Cowboys try to keep themselves in contention for a top seeding in the postseason.
McCarthy has allowed for the possibility by prepping Rush, and Cowboys players- while saying their leader looks good- have, to a man, expressed belief that the offense would be in good hands if Rush gets the call against the Vikings.
While Prescott no doubt wants to play and sounds as if he could play, he understands that it may ultimately be in the best interest of the season that he doesn’t play.
“It’s not fully my decision,” Prescott said Thursday, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, “because there is a bigger picture. It’s more than just one game… I don’t want this to linger past this week.”
That’s a far cry from owner Jerry Jones telling fans- as recently as Tuesday- that his starting quarterback’s calf strain was “not even in my thought process of things to worry about.”
It sounds like it’s not a worry, long-term, for anyone in the Dallas camp.
But it also sounds like they’re suddenly talking themselves into Plan B for the short-term.
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