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Dak Prescott had hopes of leading the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl in 2020, but a gruesome ankle injury just derailed his season.

Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle after getting tackled awkwardly against the New York Giants on Sunday. The QB was taken to a local hospital and had surgery Sunday night, and he’s expected to be out for the rest of the season.

Prescott’s scary injury looked career-threatening at first, but there’s hope for his future after a successful surgery. So, how long will Prescott be sidelined and how have other players fared after returning from similar injuries?

Dak Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle

After Prescott went down with an ankle injury on Sunday, everyone on the field and watching at home knew it was severe. Prescott’s right ankle was pointing sideways as he sat on the turf, and he immediately signaled for the trainers.

As he was laying the field, teammates and coaches knelt in solidarity and prayed for No. 4. There were tears all over the field spouting from some of the toughest humans on earth.

Prescott was rushed to a local hospital before the game even ended. It was later revealed that he suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, and he underwent successful surgery on Sunday night.

Prescott is expected to be out for the season, but will he be ready for Week 1 next year and will he ever be the same player?

How have other players fared coming back from similar injuries?

After Prescott was carted off the field on Sunday, former defensive end Connor Barwin took to Twitter to offer the QB some words of encouragement. Barwin suffered a similar injury in 2010 to the same right ankle, and his recovery should encourage Cowboys fans across the country.

Barwin fractured his ankle early on in the 2010 season. He missed the remainder of the year, but he returned for the start of the 2011 campaign fully healthy. In fact, he even broke out for 11.5 sacks in his first season back. Four years after the injury, Barwin recorded 14.5 sacks and made his first Pro Bowl. The DE went on to play eight fruitful seasons after snapping his ankle.

More recently, Gordon Hayward suffered the same injury as Prescott in 2017. He went up for a rebound and landed awkwardly on his ankle, causing it to turn 90 degrees to the side. It took Hayward longer than Barwin to return to his old self, but he finished the 2020 season averaging 17.5 points per game on a career-high 50% shooting.

Cowboys fans should expect a recovery time similar to Hayward’s. He took over a year to find hit footing and return to the player he was pre-injury, and Prescott should follow the same arc.

How long will Prescott be sidelined?

Todd Archer of ESPN NFL Nation reported Prescott will be out for 4-6 months, which essentially ends his 2020 campaign. But the question here isn’t when Prescott will be cleared for football activity. It’s when he will return to looking like Dak Prescott again.

That probably won’t happen at the start of the 2021 season. Prescott thrives when he can extend plays and make first downs with his feet. He will undoubtedly be hesitant to do so when he returns to the football field with a surgically-repaired ankle.

Prescott will have to ease his way back into a new comfort level, but Barwin’s and Hayward’s recovery stories should make the QB feel optimistic about his future.


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