Earlier this week, it seemed like Ezekiel Elliott was going to miss the Dallas Cowboys' Week 8 game against the Chicago Bears. On Friday, head coach Mike McCarthy left the door open for Zeke to suit up.
McCarthy told reporters on Friday that Elliott is "better than we anticipated," according to Yahoo! Sports. However, McCarthy added that Elliott would need to practice on Saturday for the Cowboys to activate him for the game.
"The only chance (of playing Sunday is) if he keeps going at the rate he has been going. If he practices tomorrow, he has a chance to play," McCarthy said, per The Athletic.
Elliott took a gruesome hit to the knee last week against the Lions, and briefly exited the game. He later returned and had one of his better games of the season, helping the Cowboys win with his two 1-yard touchdown runs.
But throughout this week, there have been conflicting reports regarding the severity of the injury he suffered. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Elliott has a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a deep thigh bruise, but the Dallas Morning News reported that Elliott did not have either a sprain or a bruise, but had hyperextended the knee.
The Cowboys last season allowed Elliott to play through what they later said was a partially torn PCL, and kept feeding him both snaps and touches ahead of Tony Pollard, who looked like the significantly more efficient and explosive player. Pollard has out-performed Elliott again this season, but the team feels Elliott provides more value in short yardage, between-the-tackles running, and pass protection.
If Elliott sits out, the Cowboys would presumably turn to Pollard for the second start of his career (he's been on the field alongside Elliott for the first play from scrimmage twice, but has only played one game in Elliott's place), with undrafted rookie Malik Davis and potentially Qadree Ollison working in behind him. The last time Elliott missed a game, Pollard totaled 18 touches for 132 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over the 49ers.