The NFL may not get to see Ezekiel Elliott in a regular season game for a while. He is currently facing a 6-game suspension from the league for domestic abuse. Barring a successful appeal, he won’t suit up in a meaningful game until late October.
But this is the preseason, which means Elliott can play as much as the coaches allow. According to Cowboys’ head coach, Jason Garrett, that will be a start Saturday against the Raiders, playing as much as a couple drives.
Elliott was the best back in football last season. The rookie 4th overall pick led the NFL with 1631 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns and was named All Pro in his first season. That rushing total was over 300 more yards than the next best back’s numbers.
He will present the Raiders’ suspect defensive line and linebacking corps with a great test early in the game Saturday. He will also give them a sample preview of what they will have to deal with when the two teams face each other in week 15.
The Raiders don’t appear to have found the solution to allowing the 6th most yards per carry last season (4.5 ypc). So, whomever can manage to slow down Elliott Saturday (if anyone) could earn himself some more playing time.
Oh, and once Elliott leaves the game, the Raiders will face a familiar face in their own former 4th overall pick, Darren McFadden. That should be fun to watch.