NFL

Prescott limited at practice but 'preparing to play' for Cowboys

By Sports Desk October 27, 2021

Dak Prescott is "preparing to play" on Sunday despite being limited at Wednesday practice according to Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.

Cowboys quarterback Prescott suffered a right calf strain on the winning touchdown pass for CeeDee Lamb in their 35-29 overtime win over the New England Patriots on October 17.

The Cowboys had the bye in Week 7, allowing Prescott time to recover from the injury ahead of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Prescott was listed as "limited" for practice on Wednesday where he went through extended warm-up, simulated drops and threw passes to his running backs, receivers and tight ends.

"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 before practice on Wednesday. "He's got to cross the threshold to make sure he's full-go."

McCarthy added: "He's going to do everything he can to play on Sunday. That's a given."

The Cowboys head coach said backup quarterback Cooper Rush, who has not played in an NFL game since 2019, would start if Prescott is not cleared.

"I think it's a matter of trying to make sure Cooper's ready and make sure Dak is getting what he needs," McCarthy said.

"We've got to make sure we're getting Cooper ready too."

McCarthy acknowledged Prescott could potentially play at quarterback with a calf strain, having seen Aaron Rodgers do that under his watch at the Green Bay Packers in 2014.

But he added that they would take a no-risk strategy with Prescott, given the Cowboys are 5-1 and three games clear in the NFC East early in the season.

"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.

Related items

  • Giants bid to end miserable run against division rivals, in-form Eagles host Titans Giants bid to end miserable run against division rivals, in-form Eagles host Titans

    With just six weeks left of the regular season schedule, the drama in the NFL continues to ramp up.

    The playoff picture is wide open and Week 13 action presents clashes between a number of sides who each boast a winning record this season.

    Victories this week would provide a considerable boost for those teams' hopes of continuing beyond the regular campaign.

    A huge divisional rivalry between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants is the pick of the action, while there is also a rematch from last season's AFC Championship game with the Kansas City Chiefs seeking redemption against the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Stats Perform has delved into the numbers for those matchups along with some of Sunday's other big games.

    New York Jets (7-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

    The Jets head to Minnesota with an 8-3 record against the Vikings, though have lost the last two meetings – including a 37-17 loss in the last meeting in 2018, which marked the most ever points scored by the Vikings in this series.

    Defensive strength has been key for the Jets this season, with last week's 31-10 victory over the Chicago Bears being the fourth time this year where they have held their opponents to 10 or fewer points – the last time they had such a sequence was five games in 2010, which was also their last season with a trip to the playoffs.

    The Jets defense will be tested against the Vikings' aerial threat, however, with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen each catching touchdown passes in the Thanksgiving win over the New England Patriots – the ninth time each player has had a receiving TD in the same game, which marks the most of any NFL teammates since Jefferson's 2020 debut.

    A win against the Jets would see head coach Kevin O'Connell join Jim Caldwell and Jim Harbaugh as the only men this century to earn 10 wins in 12 or fewer games to start their career as an NFL head coach.

    Washington Commanders (7-5) @ New York Giants (7-4)

    A series sweep for Washington last season was the franchise's first against the Giants since 2011, leaving the Commanders looking for their first win streak of at least three games against New York since a four-game streak that ended in 2000.

    Four consecutive wins on the road have seen Washington hold their opponents to 54 points total in those contests, marking the first time they have won four straight road games while allowing fewer than 60 points since 2001.

    The Giants head into the contest having lost their last five against divisional opponents, standing just 1-7 in that regard over the past two seasons. That makes them just one of two teams without multiple wins in divisional games over that span (also Denver Broncos, 1-8).

    Saquon Barkley remains the biggest threat for the Giants and sits just eight rushing yards short of his third 1000-yard season, where he would join Tiki Barber (6), Rodney Hampton (5) and Joe Morris (3) as the only Giants with at least three such seasons for the team.

    Tennessee Titans (7-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

    Philadelphia host the Titans on the back of a six-game winning run against AFC opponents dating back to last season, matching the Eagles' longest such streak in franchise history.

    Last time out against the Green Bay Packers, the Eagles scored a touchdown in four of their five trips to the red zone – with Philadelphia leading the NFL in touchdown efficiency in the red zone this season, scoring in 29 of 40 trips (72.5 per cent).

    Tennessee, meanwhile, have rushed for fewer than 100 yards in each of their last three games, matching their longest streak since Mike Vrabel became head coach in 2018.

    In the 20-16 loss to the Bengals last time out, Derrick Henry fumbled but was it was recovered. Of the 39 players with at least 200 offensive touches since the beginning of last season, Henry, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey are the only three to have not lost a fumble.

    Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

    Two meetings last season saw the Bengals win by three points in both contests, including in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City, with the Chiefs' last road win against the Bengals coming in 1984 – losing six straight since.

    A 26-10 home victory against the Los Angeles Rams last week saw Travis Kelce catch his 12th touchdown pass of the season, with no other tight end having more than five this term. The largest all-time gap between a league leader and second place stands at six (Rob Gronkowski in 2011 and Antonio Gates in 2004).

    The Bengals overcame the Titans 20-16 on the road last week, giving Cincinnati their first three-game winning streak of the season. Since 2018, they stand 3-34 when scoring 20 or fewer points in a game, but two of those wins have come against Tennessee.

    Cincinnati have converted 78.1 per cent (25-for-32) of their third downs this season when needing fewer than four yards, the best mark in the league. However, they've also allowed opponents to convert such third downs at a 76.5 per cent rate (26-for-34), the worst record in the league.

    Elsewhere…

    The Miami Dolphins head to San Francisco with a 4-3 record on the road against the 49ers, the second-best such record by any team behind the Carolina Panthers (7-4).

    The Los Angeles Rams host the Seattle Seahawks having won eight of the last 10 clashes between the two divisional rivals, with Seattle's last victory on the road in this matchup coming in Week 5, 2017.

    An overtime victory over the Seahawks last week was the second in a row for the Las Vegas Raiders, having beaten the Denver Broncos in OT in Week 11. No NFL team has ever won three consecutive games in overtime going into the Raiders' latest battle with the Los Angeles Chargers.

    The Dallas Cowboys host the Indianapolis Colts on the back of a four-game spell with at least 400 net yards, with only one longer streak in team history – running eight games in that regard in 2016.

  • Mac Jones says emotion got the better of him in Patriots' loss to the Bills Mac Jones says emotion got the better of him in Patriots' loss to the Bills

    Mac Jones said he let emotions get the better of him but was not aiming his frustration at anyone in particular in the New England Patriots' 24-10 defeat to the Buffalo Bills.

    After a promising rookie season in 2021, quarterback Jones and the offense in general has struggled for a Patriots side who are now 6-6 and facing a struggle to make the playoffs.

    During the game, Jones appeared to be caught saying "throw the f*****g ball! The quick game sucks!" during the broadcast of the game on Amazon Prime Video.

    "Obviously, I just kind of let my emotions get to me," Jones said. "What I said was about throwing it deeper within the short game. I got to execute that part better. 

    "But it's the short game that we kept going to, which is working. But I felt like we needed chunk plays. I shouted that out to kind of get everyone going. That's emotional. That's football. I'm passionate about this game.

    "Obviously, you don't want to let your emotions get the best of you. I think that's pretty much it. It wasn't directed at anybody. Just emotion coming out. We kind of needed a spark."

    Jones added that the coaching team, including Matt Patricia who makes the calls in the plays to him, were aligned with his thinking.

    "It was just [saying], 'let's go for it, let's be aggressive, let's take those shots. Just go down fighting,'" Jones added.

    "Matty P was on the same page. We kind of did it there at the end and moved it a little bit more."

    Jones was 22-of-36 for 195 yards and a touchdown against the Bills.

    Overall the Patriots rank 31st for time in the red zone, 25th for third-down conversion, and 27th for first downs gained per game this season.

    "When you're playing from behind against a pretty good team and a good offense, you need to go out there and make better plays," Jones said. 

    "That starts with me. Definitely wasn't good enough by me. I didn't do a good enough job of getting ahead early, making it work. It's tough to watch the defense play a great game, not being able to give them anything back."

  • 'We're not blinking' - Josh Allen has the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills playing with 'urgency' 'We're not blinking' - Josh Allen has the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills playing with 'urgency'

    Josh Allen told reporters after Thursday's 24-10 win against the New England Patriots that this year's Buffalo Bills are playing with an added 'sense of urgency' after narrowly missing out on last year's AFC Championship game.

    The Bills were too strong for the Patriots, allowing no touchdowns after the first quarter in what turned into a relatively smooth outing on the road in Foxborough.

    With the win, the Bills improved their record to an AFC East-leading 9-3, while the 8-3 Miami Dolphins will get a chance to join them if they can defeat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

    Despite their strong record, it was only their first win against a divisional opponent this season after previous losses to the Dolphins and New York Jets.

    Following three consecutive games away from home, the Bills will now host both the Jets and the Dolphins in back-to-back fixtures, and Allen said the whole squad is itching to get back to Buffalo.

    "It's going to be awesome," he said. "We missed out on a home game because we had to leave [due to a snowstorm in Week 11], so I know Bills mafia is chomping at the bit to get back in the stadium with us.

    "We're going to need them, this stretch that we've got coming up, we understand it means a lot moving forward. We’ve got to find ways to go win some football games."

    He went on to talk about how the Bills are no longer content just being a playoff team, and with the roster they have, they know this season is a golden opportunity to bring home the franchise's first ever Super Bowl.

    "I think [what's different] is the sense of urgency we have," he said. "We're 9-3, and everything we want is in front of us.

    "Every time we step out onto the field we're trying to be the best version of ourselves, and coach McDermott does a great job of letting us be ourselves.

    "We've got a great locker room, guys with a lot of leadership, there's been no panic. Von [Miller] says it all the time – we're not blinking.

    "We're just trying to find ways to win football games, no matter what it takes to win a game, that's what we're trying to do." 

    The former MVP favourite is no longer considered one of the top contenders for the league's most prestigious individual honour after a month-long battle with a lingering elbow injury, but he is not using it as an excuse.

    "A lot of time in the training room making sure I'm ready to go, but come game time, that goes to the back of my mind," he said.

    "I'm just focused on trying to make plays for this team, whichever way that I can, whether it's running or throwing, and getting it to our guys on the outside.

    "We've got some of the best guys in the league, and the more times we can get them the ball, the better it's going to be for us.

    "I appreciate who we have in our training room, they've done a tremendous job… they really put in a lot of hours."

    With one more win this season, the Bills will have posted four consecutive campaigns of at least 10 victories. The only other time in franchise history that has occurred was from 1990-1993, where they lost four Super Bowls in a row.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.