After a long buildup dating back to his January ACL injury, Michael Gallup looked fully set to make his return to action in Week 3 when the Cowboys played the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Yet in the hours before kickoff, the veteran wide receiver was surprisingly left on the inactive list, prompting many to fear some sort of setback in his recovery.
Turns out, though, it was Gallup himself who made the call, saying that he wanted to be sure he was truly ready to be back on the field- not just physically, but mentally, too.
“It was my decision,” the 26-year-old said this week, per the team website.
“This is the hardest part. It’s really just mental now,” Gallup said. “You know you’re healthy and everything’s good; it’s just mental now. You’ve got to make sure you feel like your old self. Getting to that is the hardest part.”
Gallup participated in a “full slate” of practice reps last week, with an eye toward making his season debut in New York. Now he’s setting his sights on Week 4 at home versus Washington…. after a few more practices to test out the surgically-repaired knee.
“I just needed a couple more reps,” said the Colorado State product who appeared in just nine games last year after an early-season calf injury. “I’ve only been in pads twice [since the ACL injury]. Everybody else had a whole training camp and everything like that, and I just needed to feel a couple more things out.”
Gallup says watching Tampa Bay wideout Chris Godwin re-injure himself against the Cowboys in Week 1 (after his own ACL tear in December) definitely played into his decision to wait one more week before suiting up.
“That’s tough. It makes you think a little differently about your recovery.”
The real fear for Gallup, he confirmed, was that he might be rushing back too soon and putting himself at risk to miss even more time.
“We’ve got a lot of games left to play, and I’m trying to be out there the whole time,” he explained. “I’m just biding my time so that I’m good when I get back out there, so I can help my team.”
All reports are that Gallup has looked good in practice. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that he was back to making “Gallupesque” plays.
Gallup himself translated: “Go up in the air, snag it, do what you’re supposed to do and get the toes down. That’s exactly what it was.”
It may now be coming a week later than expected, but the prognosis for No. 13 looks positive for this coming Sunday.
Take it directly from the source.
“M.G. is back,” he said. “M.G. is definitely back.”