Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be back this week after missing the last five games with an injury.
The 29-year-old fractured his right thumb in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss. He underwent surgery on September 12, was medically cleared earlier this week and began training hard on Wednesday.
In his absence, the success of quarterback replacing Cooper Rush at the helm came as a welcome surprise to Cowboys fans. He led the team to a 4-1 record, with the only loss coming in Week 6 against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
Against the Eagles, Rush’s limitations and inexperience were exposed, as he threw three interceptions and the winning streak was snapped. But until that loss, he had 839 passing yards, four touchdowns and 121 pass attempts without an interception.
He kept the team afloat in a highly competitive NFC East, exceeding all expectations in his first stint as a starter.
There was rarely any doubt that Prescott would resume as soon as he was healthy. In addition to his contribution on the field, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy noted that his leadership and energy were huge boons to team morale.
The question is what the adjustment period will look like, given that it’s been five weeks since he last took the pitch.
The Cowboys offense will have to readjust to work with Prescott instead of Rush. Prescott himself will likely have to address some issues that naturally occur when recovering from injuries. It would be a prime game for Dallas to emphasize the running game, using running backs Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard.
Prescott’s expected comeback falls on a home game with the Detroit Lions. He is 3-0 in his career against Detroit, with eight touchdowns and no interceptions.
The last Lions in their division enter the contest after a week off, posting a dismal record of 1-4.
The Lions have managed to find the end zone this season, averaging 28 points per game. But they struggled a lot in defense.
Despite only playing five games so far, they have given up the most points of any team in the league, with opponents averaging 34 points per game.
By comparison, the Cowboys’ defense is allowing an average of just 16.3 points per game. Ultimately, the Cowboys’ defense might prove too strong for the usually high-scoring Lions.
To see Prescott’s return, tune in Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Another quarterback expected to return on Sunday is Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins.
Just under a month after suffering a head injury that prompted a change in NFL concussion protocols, Tagovailoa could play against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since the injury, he said he was unconscious after being knocked to the ground in that September 29 game and does not remember what happened to him immediately after his head hit the grass.
“Getting fired – I don’t remember,” he said on Wednesday. “But I remember the things that were happening when I was in the ambulance and then when I got to the hospital.”
The Kansas City Chiefs travel to the Bay Area to take on the San Francisco 49ers. This is the first meeting between these two teams since the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV.
Kansas City has one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Patrick Mahomes, while San Francisco has one of the best defensive units in the league.
The game will also feature the two tight ends with the most career receiving yards per game in NFL history: Travis Kelce of the Chiefs (71.1) and George Kittle of the 49ers (65.8).
The 49ers have already made headlines this week for a blockbuster trade, acquiring running back Christian McCaffrey from the Panthers. The exchange was announced Thursday.
McCaffrey flew to San Francisco on Friday to get acquainted with his new teammates and his schedule. It would take a very quick turnaround for McCaffrey to play on Sunday, so it is uncertain how much he will be used on the pitch.
To see how it all pans out, tune in Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce has had over 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in each of his last three games.
Florida’s fourth-round pick ranks second among all rookies this season with 469 scrimmage yards. With at least 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders this week, he would become just the fifth rookie since 2000 to record 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in four or more consecutive games.
The Texans and Raiders face off Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.
Here’s how to catch these and other teams across the league in action, wherever you are.
Australia: NFL Game Pass, ESPN, 7Plus
Brazil: NFL Game Pass, ESPN
Canada: CTV, TSN, RDS, NFL Game Pass on DAZN
Germany: NFL Game Pass, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN
Mexico: NFL Game Pass, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports
United Kingdom: NFL Game Pass, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5
United States: NFL Game Pass, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime