The bad news: Wilson’s regular season is (unofficially) kaput.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett confirmed Friday, a day after Dallas’ third consecutive defeat, that Wilson is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after an MRI revealed a sprain — but no tear — to his knee ligament.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport previously reported that Wilson’s ACL is “intact” and there’s no reconstructive surgery scheduled. Rapoport did allow that he’s a candidate for injured reserve “based on the time of year.”
Wilson was hurt while attempting to corral a ball against the Bears. He went down in a heap and spent several moments clutching his knee; it looked painfully severe.
Wilson failed to secure his lone target in the 31-24 loss to Chicago. He has just five grabs for 46 yards across 13 games. A core special-teamer, he chipped in three kick returns for 64 yards prior to exiting the Week 14 contest.
The 2018 sixth-round draft pick is under contract through 2020, after which he’ll become an exclusive-rights free agent.
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Assuming he’s shut down for the final three games, Wilson would face an uphill battle to play even if Dallas qualified for the playoffs. For all intents and purposes, and this remains an assumption, he’s logged his final snap of 2019.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, Wilson’s absence will not be greatly felt. The team is loaded at WR with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup functioning as quarterback Dak Prescott’s preferred targets, and Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin deployed as shifty slot weapons.
Wilson’s scarce snaps should go to bottom-of-the-roster-type Ventell Bryant; Dallas doesn’t have a receiver to promote from the practice squad. But they’re set at the spot for as long as Cooper and Gallup — who combined 12 catches, 192 yards and a touchdown against Chicago — stay healthy.
Prescott Dealing With Injuries to Both Hands
This won’t excuse Prescott’s poor performance at Soldier Field. But it might explain it. Garrett announced Friday the franchise signal-caller suffered a sprained left hand and an injury to his index finger on his right (throwing) hand.
Garrett isn’t concerned about Prescott’s Week 15 status, noting that “he seemed to come out of the [Bears] game OK.”
Prescott completed 27-of-49 balls (55 percent) for 334 yards and a touchdown against Chicago. The stat line wasn’t as gaudy as it sounds; a majority of his air yards came in the fourth quarter, with the Bears on cruise control, comfortably leading by multiple possessions.
Reality is, Dak was uncharacteristically inaccurate for the duration of the defeat. And he can’t blame the weather conditions. It was simply a forgettable outing, underscored by a sieve-like offensive line, sans starting guard Connor Williams, surrendering continual pressure. Chicago racked up eight hits and two sacks on Prescott, along with countless hurries.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL