Michael Gallup’s fourth season in the NFL has been marked by a series of long waits. His latest wait is about to come to an end, but it won’t be his last.
The Cowboys wide receiver suffered an ACL tear in Week 17, the team’s penultimate game of the regular season, a loss to Arizona. He’ll finally undergo surgery to repair the ligament next week, according to a report from Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
Cowboys head team physician Dr. Dan Cooper will perform the procedure, per Gehlken’s source. Gallup is expected to be ready for the start of the 2022 season, though his future with the Cowboys remains unclear.
The former third-round draft pick out of Colorado State entered 2021 looking to put up big numbers in a contract year, but a calf injury sustained in the season opener relegated him to the sideline until Week 10. Upon his return, he tallied 31 more receptions, 409 additional yards, and a pair of touchdowns prior to the left knee injury against the Cardinals (which came on an acrobatic scoring grab). He was put on injured reserve to finish the season.
Cowboys WR Michael Gallup’s touchdown vs. Cardinals. Amazing body control despite injurypic.twitter.com/jiL9IcTKZg
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) January 2, 2022
Gehlken notes that ACL injuries typically involve a delay of multiple weeks before surgery, to allow “for symptoms like swelling to improve, which studies have shown to facilitate post-operation rehabilitation.”
With a long list of players about to hit free agency, the Cowboys will have a decision to make on Gallup. Fellow wideout Amari Cooper currently commands a large contract; if the club opts to retain him, it is widely assumed they may move on from Gallup. Releasing or trading Cooper would ostensibly free up enough money to issue the 25-year-old a new deal and have funds left over for other players.
Gallup logged a 1,000-yard season in 2019 and scored a career-high six touchdowns- in only 14 games- in just his second year in the league. His numbers trailed off last season, but much of that drop can be attributed to the revolving door at the quarterback position in Dallas following the injury to quarterback Dak Prescott in Week 5.
What happens next for Gallup may come down to whether he showed the Cowboys enough in nine games this season to warrant betting on him over a four-time Pro Bowler.
That means more waiting for Gallup.
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