The team announced that injured rookie running back Tony Pollard is inactive, leaving Elliott as Dallas’ lone healthy RB for the Week 14 matchup in Chicago.
Pollard popped up mysteriously on Tuesday’s injury report with what the Cowboys are calling an ankle injury. It’s unclear when Pollard was hurt as he wasn’t listed on Monday’s practice report; he got in a full session.
Rotoworld.com’s blurb on Pollard stated that he suffered a knee injury while running a route in last week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills. It’s possible his malady is related to the knee and ankle injuries he sustained in Week 5.
Head coach Jason Garrett failed to mention Pollard in his pre-practice press conference.
The team’s fourth-round draft pick has been a regular-season afterthought in an offense dominated by Dak Prescott and Elliott, converting 58 carries into 264 yards and a touchdown across 12 appearances. He’s added 12 receptions for 90 yards and a TD.
Pollard, however, was sensational during the preseason, taking hold of the RB1 job while Elliott campaigned for a new contract in Mexico. He rushed for 84 yards and a score on just 15 attempts, averaging a sterling 5.6 yards per carry and prompting the now-infamous “Zeke who?” quip from owner Jerry Jones.
Pollard is considered an elite handcuff to Elliott, who’s embraced — rather than shun — his talented understudy.
“I want to help (Tony Pollard) become the best RB he can be,” he said in September, per The Athletic. “It doesn’t matter that we might be competing for playing time or anything. I want him to become the best back he can be. It’s definitely rewarding seeing him go out there and have the day he had today.”
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No Roster Move
Surprisingly, the Cowboys opted against promoting either Jordan Chunn or Mike Weber from the practice squad to serve as active-roster depth. Because they didn’t, fullback Jamize Olawale would step into a starting role should Elliott go down in the Windy City. Not an ideal scenario, to be sure.
No matter who’s occupying the Cowboys’ backfield, it could be a long day at the office against Chicago, who own the NFL’s seventh-best run defense, surrendering 97.5 yards per game. Just two RBs — Oakland’s Josh Jacobs and New Orleans’ Latavius Murray — have crossed the century mark on the Bears’ stifling front-seven.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL