It's been well over a month since the Dallas Cowboys' rushing attack has looked even remotely like the best in the NFL, a status it held early in the season. But as the team readies to play the New York Giants on Sunday, it seems the health of the running back position is improving.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday morning that Tony Pollard, who missed last Sunday's game against Washington with a foot injury that occurred while scoring a touchdown the previous week, will be a limited participant in Wednesday's practice. McCarthy later clarified that the midweek practice would be more of a walkthrough for the team, a decision made based on how the Washington game played out as well as season-long GPS tracking used to help determine when players might need additional rest.
How soon Pollard can become a full-participant in practice will be something to watch out for in terms of his status for Sunday's game against the Giants.
Ezekiel Elliott's health has been an issue for most of this season, as he has dealt with a lingering knee injury. Elliott wore a knee brace for the first time last Sunday against Washington and received 13 carries for 45 yards but did not play much of the second half. McCarthy claimed Elliott wanted to play more in that game, but the decision was made out of "caution." Elliott said that his knee was feeling good after the game.
The starting running back will be a full participant in Wednesday's practice, and McCarthy said that he was encouraged by how Elliott handled playing in last week's game.
"His communication has been that he's ready to go," McCarthy said of Elliott. "If we were having a full-blown Wednesday practice I would say he'd be in a full capacity."
And maybe this week's matchup will help Zeke and the Cowboys get back on track. Elliott's last 100-yard game this year was against the Giants on Oct. 10 when he rushed for 110 yards in a 44-20 blowout at AT&T Stadium. Pollard also rushed for 75 yards that day, his second-highest total of the season.