The Dallas Cowboys are getting ready to face an Arizona Cardinals team that's 0-2 and fresh off blowing a 28-7 lead in the second half.
Having won their first two games by a combined 60 points, it's no surprise that Mike McCarthy's squad is a double-digit road favorite. The Giants and Jets are much more talented than Arizona, so the Cowboys should (emphasis on should) win comfortably in the desert so long as they continue playing complementary football.
Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, but matchups don't come easier than this.
With that in mind, the Cowboys could continue resting some of their banged-up players, including Donovan Wilson, Tyler Smith and Brandin Cooks. Wilson is an especially interesting case, as he practiced in full on Wednesday and is seemingly on track to make his debut this Sunday.
While exciting, it shouldn't be understated that Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a setback from his own calf strain and now faces a potential multi-week absence at a crucial part of Cincinnati's schedule.
Injuries to Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers should tempt Cowboys to continue resting Donovan Wilson.
The Cowboys could learn a vital lesson here.
Burrow missed most of training camp, but the Bengals rushed him back for Week 1. Burrow likely advocated to play, too, but calves are like hamstrings as far as their tendency to linger and risk of re-aggravation. That's not groundbreaking news, but it's no surprise Burrow has performed as poor as he has to start the year.
It's not a severe re-aggravation on Burrow's part, but the 0-2 Bengals now face an impossible decision of letting the star QB rest for a couple weeks or risk their season being unsalvageable. This could've been avoided.
Beyond Burrow, Jets QB Aaron Rodgers battled a calf injury throughout the offseason program before suffering a torn Achilles. It's not the first time a calf strain (minor or major) has preluded a ruptured Achilles.
Basketball fans will point to Kevin Durant's torn Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals after he pushed to play through a calf injury.
Wilson obviously doesn't play QB, but he led Dallas in tackles last season and a potential re-aggravation could devastate the defense. It wouldn't hurt to give the versatile safety another week of rest to ensure the calf is all systems go.
This isn't to insinuate that the Cowboys would put Wilson in a compromised position, but we also understand fans who are airing concerns about the tricky nature of calf strains and the possibility of Wilson suffering a setback.
At the end of the day, we trust Dallas' medical team, but the injuries to Burrow and Rodgers offer invaluable context to Wilson's looming return.