Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden declared himself ready to return on Tuesday.
McFadden, 29, has been sidelined since the start of the season as he underwent offseason surgery on his right elbow. McFadden felt he could be ready when the season started, but the team put him on the non-football injury list to open the season.
McFadden is eligible to be activated off the NFI list this week, but the Cowboys likely won’t do it with a bye. They must make that decision in the next three weeks, though, and then they’ll have three weeks from that point as to whether add him to the 53-man roster.For his part, McFadden sounded as though he’s ready to go.
“Elbow is feeling great,” McFadden said. “Just sitting back and waiting for my time to get back on the field. It’s pretty much up to the coaches. I’m ready to go, so it’s just based off their decision.”
McFadden said his range of motion is “as good as it’s going to get” and that he has “great strength” in his elbow.
McFadden had an impressive 2015 season in which he was named the team’s offensive MVP. He finished fourth in the NFL with 1,089 rushing yards, a feat even more impressive considering he played in essentially 11 games.
But the Cowboys boast the top-ranked rushing offense this season behind standout rookie Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott is on pace to break Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards, and backup Alfred Morris has played well in his limited opportunities.
It’s difficult to see a set role for McFadden at this point.
Asked about his role, McFadden said: “Whatever the coaches decide for me. I’m a team player. I want to be out there playing, any way I can contribute. I just want to be out there on the field.”