Cowboys WR Michael Gallup limited at practice Wednesday, closer to return

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After a Week 1 game in which the Cowboys’ passing game was sorely in need of reliable targets, one is working his way back into the fold.

Wide receiver Michael Gallup was a participant in Wednesday’s practice session, albeit in a “limited” capacity, according to the team’s injury report. That development comes shortly after head coach Mike McCarthy said from the podium that he hoped to “integrate Michael a little more” and “maybe go from individual and do some group stuff.”

The former third-round draft pick tore an ACL late last season catching a touchdown versus Arizona and has been rehabbing ever since his surgery in February.

The Cowboys opted to not place Gallup on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the season. That move would have required him to sit out at least the team’s first four games; keeping him technically active signaled that the staff felt he’d have an opportunity to return to action sooner.

McCarthy played it cagey regarding Gallup’s status in the lead-up to Week 1. After passing his physical in late August and returning to receiver drills on September 7, the coach seemed to keep the door cracked for a season-opening appearance. But that hope was short-lived; Gallup was ruled out for the season opener just two days later.

The Cowboys missed Gallup’s presence on Sunday. The Buccaneers defense was able to key on CeeDee Lamb as the only experienced downfield receiving threat, holding him to just two receptions on 11 targets. Tight end Dalton Schultz led the entire team with seven catches and 62 yards on a night when Dak Prescott and the entire Dallas offense struggled mightily.

Now with backup passer Cooper Rush set to make just his second NFL start against the AFC champion Bengals and the foreseeable future, the receiving corps could use all the reinforcements it can get.

Gallup is not expected to return to gameday action this week, but his participation in the midweek practice is a big step in the right direction.

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Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire