EXCLUSIVE: Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott likely missed with MCL tear and groin contusion

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Ezequiel Elliott (21) turned on Detroit Lions quarterback Jeff Okudah (1) and linebacker Julian Okwara during Sunday's game at AT&T Stadium.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Ezequiel Elliott (21) turned on Detroit Lions quarterback Jeff Okudah (1) and linebacker Julian Okwara during Sunday’s game at AT&T Stadium.

AP

A year ago, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Ezekiel Elliott tore his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in week four and played the rest of the season with the injury. He played all 18 games, including losing a playoff and rushing for over 1,000 yards for the fourth time in six seasons.

The situation may be different in 2022.

According to sources, Elliott suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain to his right knee and a painful deep groin bruise in the second quarter of Sunday’s 24-6 victory over the Detroit Lions.

An MRI test on Monday revealed a knee injury, according to coach Mike McCarthy, who did not predict Elliott’s availability in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

McCarthy said Elliott will be out of practice on Wednesday and will work exclusively with the rehab group.

Elliott did not rehab during the media portion of Wednesday’s training.

Speaking to the media in the locker room, Elliott said he was taking it day in and day out.

“Trying to get rid of the stiffness and deal with the coaching staff and see where you can get. I don’t know right now,” Elliott said when asked about the Bears game. “We still have a lot of time before Sunday. Just focus on making that knee as healthy as I can be.”

According to a source, Elliott is expected to miss the Bears game and return after a farewell next week, giving him three weeks of rest and recovery when the Cowboys resume play on October 13 at the Green Bay Packers.

“It’s MCL or something,” Elliott said. “Hell, I’m not a doctor.”

It all depends on how he feels by the end of the week, Elliott said.

“I think that’s a consideration,” Elliott said. “But it just depends on how I feel at the end of the week going into the match.”

Elliott said the final decision will be made in a team effort with the doctors, coaches and coaching staff.

“I think everyone will have their input,” Elliott said. “I think we’ll get together at the end of the week and decide what we’re going to do.”

Elliott’s toughness and playing history are documented through injuries.

He plans to do everything in his power to play against the bears.

“I think it’s a mentality,” said Elliott, who has just missed one game in his career due to injury. “I think my team needs me there. I think the pain is temporary and I have to be there with my guys. That’s the priority. I think it’s just from the heart and how much I care about this team, how much I care about this organization. I think it’s my duty to be there, to be available.” .

“If I can be there, why not? I’m not going out of the match because I don’t feel 100 percent. I think that’s soft.”

When Elliott suffered the injury in the second quarter against the Lions, most thought the worst was his leg bent backwards after an injury that seemed debilitating.

It could have been much worse if Elliot’s foot had stayed stuck in the ground, according to a source familiar with the injury.

Elliott got back into the game, finishing with 57 yards on 15 carry and two touchdowns.

Elliott had 29 yards and both were touchdowns in the second half after injury.

Tony Pollard, who has been involved in back-duty with Elliott this season, expects to get the most gigs on Sunday. He has 65 carry for 375 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Junior free agent Malik Davis is just another person running back on the list. If Elliott isn’t playing against the Bears, the Cowboys may have to make a move to add depth to the center.

This story was originally published October 26, 2022 1:35 pm.

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a writer/columnist on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches, and countless controversies from the demise of the Dynasty teams in the ’90s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Operation Cowboys by Jason Jarrett.


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