MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys have decided to hold quarterback Dak Prescott out of their game at Minnesota because of a strained right calf muscle and give Cooper Rush his first career start.
Prescott was placed on the inactive list on Sunday night after being listed as questionable to play the Vikings. He was hurt on Oct. 17 during his touchdown pass to beat New England in overtime. Two full weeks including the team's bye to treat and rest the injury weren't quite enough for clearance.
Prescott went through his normal pregame routine on the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium more than two hours before kickoff with Britt Brown, the team's director of rehabilitation. He showed no obvious signs of limitation, but the message from the Cowboys all week was caution to keep the soft tissue issue from lingering.
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After losing Prescott to a broken and dislocated right ankle in the fifth game of the 2020 season, the Cowboys are determined to avoid another long-term absence. Prescott became the first player in Cowboys history with four straight games with three or more touchdown passes against the Patriots.
Rush, 27, latched on with the Cowboys in 2017 as an undrafted project out of Central Michigan. He has appeared in six career regular season games in mop-up duty. He has attempted just three passes, all in his rookie year.
Also inactive for the Cowboys were four reserves: wide receiver Simi Fehoko, offensive lineman Matt Farniok, defensive end Azur Kamara and safety Israel Mukuamu.
For the Vikings, defensive tackle Michael Pierce (elbow) was the lone starter on the inactive list. Also out were wide receiver/punt returner Dede Westbrook (ankle), defensive end Patrick Jones II (knee), guard Wyatt Davis, linebacker Chazz Surratt and quarterback Kellen Mond.