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When will Ezekiel Elliott return from knee injury?

The Cowboys running back played through a knee injury in 2021.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is coming off his sixth NFL season as a fairly durable back, playin at least 15 regular season games six times during his career. Elliott’s production has dropped off a bit over the last couple years, though he rushed for 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021.

Elliott played in all 17 regular season games last season but lacked the play-making ability we saw earlier in his career as he played through a knee injury for most of the year.

Injury news

After the season, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Elliott played most of the season with a torn PCL as he originally injured his right knee in the fourth game of the year. His production faded toward the end of the regular season, but he is expected to be at 100% for the start of 2022.

2022 Fantasy football outlook

While the injury to his knee does not appear to be an issue moving forward, Elliott’s days of being a No. 1 running back on fantasy football rosters are likely over. As we’ve seen over and over again, running backs can rarely sustain a high level of production over a substantial period of time even though Elliott will be just 27 years old when the season starts.

Elliott will still likely be used a lot and should be looked at as a mid-level running back No. 2 option, though Tony Pollard has been effective as the backup and could continue to see an increase in snaps.