OXNARD, Calif. – Asked Tuesday about Ezekiel Elliott's availability for Saturday's preseason opener against the Rams, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said, "We're just going to take it day by day."
But the rookie running back has missed five straight practices with a sore hamstring and the Cowboys have made clear they aren't rushing back the fourth overall pick.
"He is making progress," Garrett said, "and again he falls into the category of soft tissue injuries that you have to be pretty deliberate with before you bring guys back. We've had other guys like that. That's one of those injuries if you bring him back a day or two too soon all of a sudden you can have a six- or seven-week injury and we don't want that for him or for anybody else on our team. He'll continue to work on the side. He's done a little bit more each day. Not going to practice today but we'll see how he does over the course of the coming week."
Garrett emphasized that players coming off injuries need practice time before they're ready to play in games. Elliott certainly falls in that category.
"They need to practice. We're not just going to put them out there in a game situation," Garrett said. "A lot of the guys who haven't practiced will practice for at least three or so days and oftentimes more than that before we put them out there. We'll be very mindful of what their reps are."