ARLINGTON - When does the Dak Prescott “pitch count” end? When do the rumors of him “never being fully back” healthy end?
“To be honest with you, we’re just trusting the training staff on this one. They’re counting every throw,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said this week as the team prepped for tonight’s NFL preseason visit to AT&T Stadium from the Houston Texans. “This is a volume regulation, endurance. There’s a big-picture outlook to this.”
Prescott pulled himself out of practice in Oxnard back on July 28 after feeling discomfort in his throwing shoulder. He was diagnosed as having a muscle strain and Dallas has used a cautious approach since then. He has been throwing at practice, and will surely do the same before tonight’s game before moving to the sidelines to let Garrett Gilbert start with the offense.
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So, that pitch count? McCarthy said it will no longer be utilized the week leading up to the first real game, Week 1 at Tampa Bay. But until then?
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“He’ll definitely be involved in some form of practice more than this week.” said McCarthy, who has also ruled out Prescott playing in the Aug. 29 preseason finale against Jacksonville. (But) to stand here and tell you he’d be full go and take all the reps, I’m not there yet.”
And those “never fully healthy” reports? ESPN’s Adam Schefter is now suggesting that (though maybe his words have been stretched from context), as Michael Irvin has already done in a visit with CowboysSI.com. (Gil Brandt has also suggested a lingering possibility.)
At this point, to Prescott - who has put last year’s season-ending ankle injury behind him - all that really matters about the ramp-up is the Sept. 9 season-opener against the Buccaneers.
As Prescott himself said recently regarding his readiness for Week 1: “There’s no doubt.”
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