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Ezekiel Elliott is officially ruled in for Week 9, readying to take the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers after a week of speculation he may not. The two-time NFL rushing champ is nursing a hamstring injury that’s limited him in practice all week, at best, and remained a game-time decision for the Cowboys. The team took precautions against his potential absence by elevating running back Sewo Olonilua from the practice squad on Saturday, but ruled him inactive once they saw Elliott, who was listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report, was good to go in pregame warmups.

This doesn’t mean fantasy football aficionados and bettors need to do a massive pivot, though. Sources tell CBS Sports that although Elliott will take the field, it’s very unlikely he’ll take on a full workload. In all likelihood, his reps could be scaled back substantially — clearing the way for second-year talent Tony Pollard to do the bulk of the work.

Pollard has shown flashes as of late and at several points in his young career but is also known to make a mistake or two. The added reps could serve him well regarding his mental consistency, but it’s not expected he’ll put up big numbers against an undefeated Steelers team whose defense is top five in the league and boasts a dominant defensive line, linebacker corps and secondary. Additionally, the Cowboys have allowed¬†Andy Dalton and Ben DiNucci to be sacked a total of 14 times since losing Dak Prescott in Week 5, largely in part to an offensive line that — outside of perennial All-Pro right guard Zack Martin — is having trouble slowing down anyone’s pass rush or run defense.

To the latter point, Elliott has seen his production take a downward turn due to both the loss of Prescott and subsequent patchwork offensive line, and while both he and Pollard will take the field against the Steelers, both will also likely discover there’s not much production to be had against Mike Tomlin’s bunch. As for Elliott’s hamstring injury, the Cowboys will monitor it carefully throughout the game, including in how many times they allow him to touch the ball.¬†

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