Ellis Drama: Next Chapter

even say that" when telling the story of a man in the grocery store the other day saying to him he'd never believe Ellis would do such a thing. 

So what gives here? 

Ellis said he's grown so concerned he called Eagles linebacker Takeo Spikes, who was forced to recover from his own Achilles tear which occurred the first month of the 2005 season. Spikes was a teammate of Drew Bledsoe's when they were in Buffalo together, and Bledsoe gave Ellis Spikes' phone number when he first suffered the injury last season. 

Ellis said he never called the linebacker traded from Buffalo to Philly this off-season until a week or so ago while in San Antonio. Spikes told him he needed a full year to recover, and Ellis knows Smith needed a full year to recover from the torn Achilles he suffered in the 1995 season opener. 

And then leave it to Pat Summerall to tell Ellis, "Some people don't make it back from this one." 

Great. Last thing any of them need to tell Ellis, the self-admitted worry-wart, as I've explained to you guys time and time again. Now he's got these things in his head, giving himself something meaty, he thinks, to worry about. 

"I'm probably the most pessimistic one you can find," he said of his condition. "Everyone else is upbeat about it." 

He's right. The coach thinks he's close to practicing. 

Brown thinks he's about ready to resume practicing, and let's remember, here too, these are the same trainers who would fight Bill Parcells tooth and nail about returning injured guys back to practice too soon. 

And if you watched him rehab on Saturday, and go through those two-a-day rehab sessions in San Antonio without any problem or noticeable limp afterward, you'd think he was close to practicing. 

Yet here's Greg: "I've got a lot of concern . . . I'm concerned I won't be ready for the first game." 

If he's not, that's a problem for the Cowboys. They'd obviously want to keep him on the 53-man roster; having stated how important he is to this 3-4 defense, despite drafting Spencer with their first-round pick. But doing so means cutting a healthy player to hold his spot and basically guaranteeing his $2.5 million base salary for 2007. 

They wouldn't want to place him on injured reserve, because that means he's done for the season. And since he practiced for what, 30 minutes or so back on July 25, he is not eligible for PUP, which would have bought at least another six weeks and as many as 12. 

But then in the previous breath to the above, Ellis said, "I don't have time to sit around and do nothing" when he mentioned Spikes talking about giving the Achilles total rest, which he did somewhat in early July before reporting to camp. "Right now, the plan is to be ready for the first regular-season game." 

Now Ellis knows even saying what he said Saturday will irritate Brown. He admitted as much, and knowing Brown, he's going to be right. 

And when reminded he's sort of a worry-wart, Ellis admitted, "That's what they will say. 'Greg is an overly concerned guy.' 

"But when things don't go on schedule, the red light comes on for me . . . the pain never goes all the way away." 

Who knows, maybe it won't. 

And who really knows, but just maybe Ellis, a guy who was not afraid to come back from a broken leg his second season in the league, is dealing with his own frailties - just afraid to find out once and for all what's really going to happen to that Achilles when he resumes playing football. 

We're all sort of like that, aren't we? Scared of the truth when it comes to physical ailments? Might just be a guy thing, I don't know. But to me, this is normal. 

Hey, I told Stanback he made a great diving catch in practice Saturday, and he sheepishly smiled, said thanks, but admitted because he was a tad reluctant to plant his repaired foot hard so he could come out of his break, he was late, thus having to dive. 

"Next time I got to run through that pass and gain those yards," he said. 

Well, I'm guessing the moment of truth is fast-approaching for Ellis, who turns 32 on Tuesday. He has worked too hard rehabbing to not at least give it a go; to find out for sure one way or another if he's ready. He owes himself that. 

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