Last week, Vikings GM Rick Spielman expressed confidence that the team would get star nose tackle Michael Pierce back from an elbow injury for their upcoming Sunday night matchup with the Cowboys. Pierce missed the final two games prior to the bye week, with Armon Watts filling in admirably.
Things aren't off to a great start on that front. Pierce didn't practice on Wednesday, suggesting he may miss a third straight game. We'll have to see if he can get a limited session in on Thursday and/or Friday, but Pierce's status is very much up in the air at this point.
That's unfortunate for the Vikings because they need all the help they can get against an outstanding Dallas offense. The Cowboys have a phenomenal offensive line and running game, not to mention Dak Prescott's prolific production through the air. Being without Pierce again would be a blow for the Vikings' defense, even though Dalvin Tomlinson, Watts, and Sheldon Richardson are plenty capable in their own right. Pierce is one of the best nose tackles in the NFL; if he's not making plays, he's making things easier for everyone around him by drawing double team and eating up space in the middle.
The only other player not practicing for the Vikings on Wednesday was punt returner and No. 4 wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who has an ankle injury. LB Anthony Barr (knee) and TE Ben Ellefson (knee/foot) were limited. Ellefson left practice midway through after he made a catch in warmup drills and came up limping.
The Cowboys had complete attendance at practice, listing four players as limited: QB Dak Prescott, CB Trevon Diggs, LT Tyron Smith, and backup DE Dorance Armstrong.
Prescott suffered a right calf strain prior to the Cowboys' bye week, but he appears to be on track to play on Sunday night. The Vikings are preparing as if that will be the case. It would obviously be a huge story if he were to suffer a setback and Dallas had to start Cooper Rush instead. Smith and Diggs both seem likely to play as well.
The Cowboys have not yet activated wide receiver Michael Gallup from IR, but he was designated to return and practiced on Wednesday. Gallup has a chance to play on Sunday night. Dallas also has DeMarcus Lawrence and Neville Gallimore on IR.
Here's the full Wednesday injury report for both teams:
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