Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is about to return from a six-game suspension. He’ll finally be eligible to play on Christmas Eve, when the Cowboys take on the Seattle Seahawks in what is essentially a must-win game if they’re going to the playoffs.
Even so, Dallas coach Jason Garrett won’t commit to starting Elliott as soon as possible.
“Just have to wait and see,” Garrett said, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Got to see how he is [Tuesday], got to see how he practices as the week goes on.”
What is Garrett looking for to know if it’s the right move to start him?
“I just think the obvious things. What kind of condition are they in, how’s their movement, can they sustain it, do they look functional, do they look smooth, do they look natural out there?” Garrett explained. “And again, we anticipate him being able to do all the things we ask him to do, and hopefully get him reacclimated quickly.”
Elliott has been in Mexico for much of his suspension. The expectation is that he’s been working out on his own, but the team doesn’t control that.
“Typically, when you’re away from the team, you have to find ways to stay in shape and get yourself ready to come back and play football,” Garrett said. “Obviously, he was very productive for us the first half of the season, productive as a runner, did a lot of really good things for our football team. He was away from our team, and obviously what you want to do is stay in shape to come back and reacclimate yourself to playing pro football.”