The Dallas Cowboys have navigated several injuries already this season, but they now have another challenge with running back Ezekiel Elliott.
However, there is a bit of fog surrounding Elliott’s current situation. The veteran Cowboys running back was initially reported to have a torn MCL by Dallas Star-Telegram reporter Clarence Hill Jr., but other reports and the Cowboys’ official statements say that is not the case.
Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken then reported that he has a knee sprain, which was then confirmed by the Cowboys and Elliott himself. It’s a bit of a relief for Dallas, as an injury like a torn MCL would likely mean the NFL’s highest-paid running back would be missing a bit more than just this weekend’s contest against the Bears.
Hill also initially said that Elliott would miss the Week 8 contest against Chicago, but that is also not certain. If the running back has it his way, he’ll be contributing in some form when the Cowboys take on the Bears on Sunday.
Elliott Speaks Out on Injury Status
The injury apparently happened to Elliott on a hit he suffered during the Cowboys’ 24-6 win over the Detroit Lions. Elliott was outpaced by fellow RB Tony Pollard in rushing yards, but still averaged 3.8 yards per carry and reached the endzone twice before the game’s end.
Elliott clearly battled through the injury to finish the game against Detroit, and he believes he ought to be able to do it against Chicago. According to The Athletic’s Jon Machota, Elliott told reporters on October 26 his intentions to play.
“I think pain is temporary and I need to be out there with my guys. … I think it’s my job to be out there, to be available. If I can be out there, shit, why not? I’m not going to take a game off because I don’t feel 100%. I think that’s soft.”
What Elliott wants and what the Cowboys will do are two different things, but it’s clear that he feels like he will be able to play. Dallas was conservative and took their time with quarterback Dak Prescott’s recovery from a thumb fracture, and it will be interesting to see if they use a similar approach with Zeke.
Cowboys RBs Getting It Done in 2022
Coming into the season, the tandem of Pollard and Elliott was considered to be one of the best running back tandems in the NFL. So far, they’ve lived up to the hype.
According to Pro Football Reference, Elliott has 443 rushing yards on 109 carries for a 4.1 average, better than his 2021 average. He’s also chipped in four rushing TDs.
Meanwhile, Pollard is averaging a whopping 5.6 yards per rushing attempt and has 375 yards on 67 attempts. Pollard has scored twice but has more contributions in the passing game with 11 receptions and 105 yards.
The Cowboys are averaging 121.7 rushing yards per game, which is 14th in the NFL but just 15.3 yards per game less than the 10th-ranked team, the Seattle Seahawks. Considering Dallas made major changes to the offensive line this offseason, they will likely consider the rushing performance so far a success.