Whenever He's Ready . . .

different."  

And while that is very true, you can at least look at past cases and see that these Achilles tears are just about a year-long recovery.  

So Ellis wanted to come back sooner. Why wouldn't he? He saw the team draft rookie Anthony Spencer to play his position. He saw a defense that ranked third when he went down the injury falter down the stretch last year, allowing 33.0 per game in the last month of the season and finishing the year ranked 13th.  

So he wanted to be the aggressor and come back. And Cowboys associate trainer Britt Brown, who spearheads the team's rehabs and has helped several players, including Marino, return from the Achilles injury, certainly was going to, and did, everything to help Ellis return.  

So they pushed and pushed. Ellis kept responding.  

In fact, Ellis said he called a few players such as Spikes. Ellis said all of them were all surprised at just how much he was doing, so soon after the injury. He was running again, quicker than the other guys did. He was cutting again, quicker than the other guys.  

And the best part, he said he wasn't feeling much pain or having any setbacks.  

So they kept going.  

But when the season finally got here and the Cowboys kicked off training camp on July 25, they all were surprised, including Ellis, when he practiced the first day and just didn't feel right.  

He experienced more pain than he had expected - soreness in his heel. And that is when he realized that he just wasn't ready.  

Now, realizing that isn't a big deal. The only drawback was that because Ellis practiced that first day, he was not eligible to go on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform), a designated list that could've allowed Ellis to miss at least the first six weeks of the season without costing the Cowboys a roster spot. But teams must put players on that list before the first practice of training camp and because Ellis was technically on the field, that option was lost.  

But from the sounds of things now, that option doesn't seem to be needed.  

The Cowboys are holding out hope that Ellis will indeed be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Giants. If not then, at least by the two following road games in Miami and Chicago.  

Until then, Spencer will continue to learn and hopefully improve at strong-side linebacker. If he doesn't, the Cowboys are covering themselves by moving Bobby Carpenter, last year's first-round pick, from inside to outside.  

And that move is more of a fallback plan in case Ellis' recovery takes longer than expected.  

But even if it does, the Cowboys should simply wait on Ellis. He not only deserves that at least, but he's worth it.            

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