Orlando Scandrick hasn’t been Orlando Scandrick since his return. There’s a reason.
The cornerback has not one, but two hamstring strains.
“I’ve been dealing with some things,” Scandrick said. “I managed to get through last game and do what it takes to help this team from being 0-2, and [I’m] dealing with the after effects of it now.”
Scandrick did not practice Wednesday, instead doing resistance training and extra stretching with associate athletic trainer Britt Brown. His status for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears is up in the air.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Scandrick said. “I’m not like a car. You can’t take me to the shop and put new wheels on me and new brakes. I’m a human.”
Scandrick, the team’s defensive MVP in 2014, doesn’t hide his frustration with his health. He missed all of last season with two torn ligaments in his right knee.
He strained his left hamstring in the season opener but returned to play through it. Scandrick played last week despite being questionable on Friday’s injury report, but he injured his right hamstring in the game.
Scandrick said he would not play this week if he was only “70 percent or 75 percent of myself.”
“It’s changed, because I can’t be myself,” he said. “I’m not going to continue to put bad film on and have people think, ‘Oh, he’s lost a step; oh, he doesn’t have it; oh, no. …’ I’m not healthy. Like that’s what it is. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to me.”
Morris Claiborne started for Scandrick last week, with the Cowboys using Scandrick in the nickel. He still played 49 of 67 snaps, allowing three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown, according to STATS, Inc.
Rookie Anthony Brown would take Scandrick’s spot in the nickel if Scandrick can’t play.
Ezekiel Elliott had never been benched before last Sunday.
Coughing up the ball twice in the second half, one of which was lost, landed Elliott on the bench for the final 6:56 of the Cowboys’ 27-23 victory over the Redskins.
That, coupled with a relatively slow start compared to preseason expectations, has put Elliott at the center of scrutiny and criticism from outsiders.
Most expected the fourth overall pick out of Ohio State to put up big-time numbers running behind arguably the best offensive line in the league. But Elliott has averaged 3.3 yards a carry and has 134 rushing yards through two games.
Those numbers aren’t terrible – after all, even at this pace Elliott would rush for 1,000 yards. But they also aren’t what most expected from Elliott coming out of the gate.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a victim of high expectations – the expectations are going to be there,” Elliott said. “I got drafted in the top five at a position that hasn’t been drafted that highly in the past couple years. The expectations are going to be high. Like I’ve said before, before the season even started, no one can expect more out of me than myself. The criticism is what I expect, honestly.”
The fumbles, though, are not something Elliott or the Cowboys would have expected. Elliott had 650 offensive touches at Ohio State and fumbled only four times.
That must be addressed immediately, or Elliott could find himself on the bench more often.
“I’ve never been benched – so that’s new to me,” Elliott said. “But you’ve just got to respond by going to work the next day. That’s all you can do to put it all behind you. You look at the bright side, we went and got the win – that’s what we went to Washington for, is to go get that win.
“We did that. So put all that behind you and work on what you failed at the week before. That’s just how you get better as a player.”
Jack Crawford (shoulder), Doug Free (quadricep) and Mark Nzeocha (Achilles) were limited in practice Wednesday.