Cowboys' Dak Prescott Must Cross 'Threshold' from Calf Injury to Play vs. Vikings

Doric SamOctober 27, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott faces reporters following an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is still working his way back from a calf strain he suffered on Oct. 17 against the New England Patriots, but he's not out of the woods yet.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said that Prescott's status for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings will be determined by how he progresses in practice this week.

"He's going to practice and he's going to go through the individual part of it and he's in the game plans. He's preparing to play," McCarthy said Wednesday. "He's got to cross the threshold to make sure he's full-go."

Prescott strained his calf on the final play of the game against the Patriots, a game-winning 35-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in overtime. Prescott had extra time to recover as the Cowboys, who are on a five-game win streak, were on a bye in Week 7.

McCarthy did not specifically explain what the threshold was, but he said the decision will be determined by Prescott and associate athletic trainer and director of rehabilitation Britt Brown. Brown oversaw Prescott's recoveries from last season's devastating ankle injury and a shoulder injury during training camp this year.

"Britt and Dak have a tremendous history and relationship so I feel like we'll be on the same page with how he progresses through this," McCarthy said. "He's going to do everything he can to play on Sunday. That's a given."

Prescott participated in the individual portion of Wednesday's practice. McCarthy said backup quarterback Cooper Rush will be getting some reps with the first-team offense this week.

"It's a matter of trying to make sure Cooper is ready and to make sure Dak is getting what he needs," McCarthy said. "We've got to make sure we're getting Cooper ready too."

The Cowboys have a 3.5-game lead in the NFC East, so it's understandable that they'd want to take a conservative approach with Prescott's recovery. McCarthy reiterated that Prescott won't take the field until he's ready in order to avoid re-injury.

"I think it's a clear decision, we don't want this to be a week-to-week situation, so until he clears that threshold to try to minimize the risk is really what the decision will come down to," McCarthy said.