’Boys RB Elliott skips team flight

ReutersRunning back Ezekiel Elliott called an audible as the Dallas Cowboys set off for Oxnard, Calif., to begin training camp.

Elliott, who is entering the second-to-last year of his rookie contract, warned of a potential holdout earlier this month and did not board the team’s charter flight to California on Thursday.

Head coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday that Elliott was fully expected to join his teammates, noting the Pro Bowl running back gave the team no notice to the contrary. Players have until Friday morning to be ready for physicals before they officially are considered a no-show.

Elliott joins a number of high-profile players potentially opting to stay away from mandatory training camp workouts at the risk of team fines while looking to get a long-term contract. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas were no-shows.

Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner will reportedly attend training camp but might sit out practices.

Elliott, who was the fourth overall selection by the Cowboys in the 2016 NFL Draft, will make $3.85 million in the upcoming season, with an option in 2020 for $9.10 million.

The Ohio State product rushed for an NFL-leading 1,434 yards in 2018, and his 95.6 yards per game also led the league. He had six rushing touchdowns and three receiving.

Elliott, 24, has started all 40 games he has played in over the past three seasons.

He has rushed for 4,048 yards on 868 carries with 28 touchdowns.

Giants’ Shepard fractures thumb

Meanwhile, New York Giants receiver Sterling Shepard fractured his left thumb during the club’s first full-squad practice on Thursday.

Shepard underwent X-rays that displayed the fracture.

The Giants announced that the injury will be reevaluated weekly.

The fourth-year-pro was injured when he reached down to the ground to attempt to catch a low pass.

New York is counting on big things from Shepard after dealing star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason.

Shepard, who had career-high totals of 66 receptions and 872 yards last season, signed a four-year, $41 million deal in April.

Prior to practice, Giants coach Pat Shurmur said he feels Shepard could blossom into a No. 1 receiver.


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