Elliott has missed the Cowboys’ last two games with a hyperextended knee he suffered during a win against the Lions on October 23. It was the first time in his career that he’s missed consecutive games.
However, Elliott has had a good week of practice and feels like he’ll be on the field against the Vikings.
“I’m definitely very optimistic about this week,” Elliott told reporters on Thursday. “Barring any setbacks the next couple days, I think I feel good. I’ve felt as good as I’ve felt since the injury this early in the week. I think I’m in a good spot.”
Elliott has taken pride in his availability, battling through a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament last season. But the seventh-year back made it clear that this injury has been a little different.
“I think this injury just has been different,” Elliott said. “I think the other ones before, I could fight through that pain and I could go out there still feel somewhat like myself and really protect myself. But I just think this injury has been different. Just took a little more time.”
Tony Pollard Taking on Larger Workload With Zeke Out
With Elliott on the sideline, Tony Pollard has taken on a larger role in the offense, notching a career-high 22 carries last week against the Packers in a 31-28 overtime loss. Pollard has gone over 100 yards in both games he’s started with Elliott out, recording four touchdowns.
While Pollard has more than proven he can be a lead back, the Cowboys have been adamant that Elliott’s thunder is a missed element of the offense.
“Obviously just turn on the tape and look at his production his whole career,” Dak Prescott said of Elliott. “The guy is a talented back. He’s a bruiser. He’s going to make plays for us in every which way. And then being able to have both of them just puts a lot of pressure on the defense. If he’s able to, I’m excited for him, obviously. He knows that.”
Elliott has rushed for 443 yards and four touchdowns on 109 carries this season. He’s eager to get back into the flow of things.
“Ready to go, man,” Elliott said. “This sucks sitting on the sideline.”
DeMarcus Lawrence Dealing With Multiple Injuries
While Elliott’s outlook is positive, things are a little different for pass-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, who is dealing with multiple issues.
“I got a little injury with the foot — both feet, actually — my knees,” Lawrence said. “It’s just all about just trying to maintain what I have but also take care of me throughout the week, so I can be fresh to go out there on Sunday and do what I need to do.”
Lawrence — a two-time Pro Bowler — believes the injury has to do with a fracture in his foot that forced him to miss 10 games last season.
“Yeah, it does connect with last year’s injury,” Lawrence said. “I just think over the [course] of the season, just all the banging and stuff, [might’ve] fractured it a little bit more. I’ll be alright. I got screws in it, so it’s hard to say if it’s fractured or not.”
Lawrence’s presence both rushing the passer and playing the run will be relied upon against the 8-1 Vikings. The Cowboys are a 1.5-point favorite road favorite against Minnesota.