Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott told reporters on Thursday that he believes his current calf injury is related to the season-ending compound right ankle fracture and dislocation he suffered during the 2020 campaign:
Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: “I honestly think this calf had something to do” with last season’s ankle injury. Both injuries to right leg. Calf strain a “wake up” that as much as he’s work to bury 2020 ankle injury, it happened, and it was serious. <a href="https://t.co/o4IKiLvcJ3">pic.twitter.com/o4IKiLvcJ3</a>
Prescott added that he believes his availability for Sunday's matchup against the Minnesota Vikings will be decided on Saturday, before the team holds a "launch practice" that day and travels to Minnesota.
"Today, I pushed it," he told reporters of Thursday's practice. "I didn't go half or 75 percent."
Todd Archer @toddarcher
It looked like Dak Prescott pushed his rehab work harder on Thursday than the previous day. He went through a series of change of direction drills, carrying a ball after simulating a drop from center. He did not appear to be laboring with the calf strain. <a href="https://t.co/kAK1AyNw9O">pic.twitter.com/kAK1AyNw9O</a>
Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL
Another active day for Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, who at one point rolled out and threw a pass while connected to director of rehabilitation Britt Brown’s resistance cord. Prescott continues to check boxes in calf strain recovery. Closed-to-media portion of practice underway now. <a href="https://t.co/JCyWkzZgnV">pic.twitter.com/JCyWkzZgnV</a>
David Helman @HelmanDC
Dak Prescott did some work running at high speed with the ball in his hands, changing direction as he did so by cutting back and forth.<br><br>He also did all the same throwing and footwork stuff we saw Wednesday.<br><br>There’s a difference between that & live football, but he looks good.
Finally, Prescott said that if Sunday's matchup with the Vikings was a playoff game, there would be "no question" that he would be playing.
"It's not fully my decision because there is a bigger picture," he told reporters. "It's more than just one game."
"I've got to keep progressing," he added. "I don't want to say this is something like my shoulder, but in a sense, I don't know if it's just my decision."
Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN
Mike McCarthy indicated that Dak Prescott and director of rehab Britt Brown will greatly influence the decision on the QB playing Sunday. The two worked together extensively through Dak’s recent injuries, and Prescott said he trusted Brown would be truthful in his recommendation. <a href="https://t.co/YdvOoWMk8O">pic.twitter.com/YdvOoWMk8O</a>
Prescott, 28, has had a solid 2021 campaign and shown little hangover from last year's devastating injury, throwing for 1,813 yards, 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions in six games, completing 73.1 percent of his passes. The Cowboys are 5-1 and atop the NFC East.
The Cowboys' Super Bowl aspirations rest almost entirely with Prescott remaining healthy. Without him last year, the team finished 4-7.
Hence, what appears to be an abundance of caution heading into Sunday. Losing a late October game against the Vikings without Prescott wouldn't be ideal, but it would be far better than him aggravating a small injury and making it a large one that lingers throughout the season.