Ezekiel Elliott’s Possible Suspension Unrelated to Cowboys Adding Ronnie Hillman

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Ronnie Hillman #36 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during a NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 1, 2017 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett refuted the notion the team signed Ronnie Hillman as a contingency plan should Ezekiel Elliott miss any game time during the regular season. 

It really has everything to do with Jahad [Thomas’] situation,” Garrett said Thursday, per ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. “Jahad, we thought he was going to be healthy and ready to go for training camp, and he was one day into it [and unable to stay healthy], and so we had to get another running back in here.”

Archer reported Wednesday that Thomas is battling a hamstring injury.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported July 14 that Elliott could face a short suspension connected to an alleged domestic dispute in July 2016.

Although the city attorney’s office in Columbus, Ohio, declined to pursue criminal charges against Elliott, the NFL launched its own investigation.

During an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday he expects the league to announce its ruling in the near future.

I think we’ll have a decision imminently,” Jones said. “Of course, I don’t know what that will be and wouldn’t want to have conjecture in any way involving that. What I have seen, though, is the presentation of Zeke and his people and I’ve seen the league’s presentation. There’s no domestic violence involved here.”

Should the NFL suspend Elliott, Hillman would provide the Cowboys with another experienced option in the backfield to supplement Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris.

Splitting his time between the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings, Hillman ran for 131 yards on 41 carries last year.

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