Michael Gallup has been patiently rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered last season. While the Dallas Cowboys were busy trying to get the first win of the season – first with Dak Prescott, then with Cooper Rush – Gallup has been on the sidelines.

He’s had to watch a group of receivers that has been struggling to create separation. In week 2, for example, no Cowboys pass catcher exceeded the average receiver separation in the NFL (2.91 yards, per Next Gen Stats).

Now, he’s on track to help out his team. In fact, he was a full participant in Cowboys’ practice on Thursday.

Gallup is expected to play on Monday Night even though his role could be limited.

“I don’t see Michael Gallup playing 70 snaps in the game,” said Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy on Thursday. “It’s his first game back.”

Whether it’s not a pitch count or not, Gallup’s presence would benefit Dallas immensely. His role as an isolated receiver will force defenses to either live him on an island (where Gallup has proven he can win vertically consistently) or dedicate coverage resources toward him.

In turn, that would mean less aggressive rotations toward CeeDee Lamb, who’s become the one receiver opponents respect.

According to McCarthy, the one checkbox left for Gallup’s return is all about game speed. The Cowboys’ wide receiver appears to be past the physical threshold of rehab.

While everything seemed lost for a Cowboys team that lost its starting quarterback in Week 1, an unexpected win versus the Cincinnati Bengals has them with hopes of a bounce back. At some point, Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, and even James Washington are expected to be back.

It’s fair to say the offense should look quite different with that talent at hand. For now, Gallup is the name to watch on Monday Night.

Featured image via Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports