The Ranch Report looks at the five most underrated players on the Cowboys roster.
Ellis to Retire?
Ellis, who has not practiced since experiencing pain on the first day of training camp, is concerned he won't be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Giants.
If he isn't ready by then, Ellis acknowledged there is a possibility he might not play again.
"I want to be back for the Giants game," Ellis said. "But I don't know if I will be able to come back at all. That is a concern. This may be it for me. I may have played my last game in Arizona. I pray it's not, but that's the reality."
Ellis suffered the injury Nov. 12 at Arizona.
The Cowboys say Ellis is on schedule to return in time for the season opener and they list him as day to day. Still, Ellis remains frustrated as he doesn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
He remains troubled by the training camp setback.
He experienced no pain while doing rehab in May and June, prompting the doctors to declare him ready for full activities when the Cowboys opened training camp July 25.
But less than an hour into the first practice, Ellis experienced pain in his left heel. An MRI showed that he didn't re-tear the Achilles. He was diagnosed with bursitis.
Cowboys trainers said Ellis would only be out a short time.
Now roughly three weeks later, Ellis is still sidelined and still in pain.
"I didn't anticipate this," Ellis said. "When I hurt it in training camp, it was a downer. But even after that, the MRI said, 'you didn't re-tear it.' And they said 'give it a little while and you should be fine.' Well it's been a little while in my opinion and I still have pain."
Although the Cowboys remain optimistic, they would likely be patient if Ellis wasn't ready by Sept. 8. They could put him on the active roster and just make him inactive until he is ready to go.
Rookie first-round pick Anthony Spencer started for Ellis in the preseason opening victory against the Colts.
Spencer, who was drafted partly as insurance for Ellis, will continue to man the strong-side linebacker position until Ellis returns.
Ironically, Ellis' earlier disgruntlement was based on his belief that the Cowboys were trying to replace him with Spencer. He's now accepted that the Cowboys aren't going to give him a new contract.
Still, he wants no part of the wait-and-see game.
"That would not be good," Ellis said. "I am pushing to be ready for the Giants game. I just don't know if I will."
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