Cowboys running back Tony Pollard left Sunday’s playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers late in the second quarter with what was described as a high ankle sprain.
Monday morning, it was revealed that he also suffered a broken leg.
Pollard caught a pass from quarterback Dak Prescott and was rolled up by 49ers’ cornerback Jimmie Ward, causing Pollard’s legs to land in an awkward and dangerous position.
The running back was taken to the team medical tent on the sideline for further evaluation and later carted to the locker room for X-rays while wearing an air cast.
The X-rays revealed a fractured left fibula that will require surgery, according to the team’s website. Pollard will reportedly undergo surgery on Tuesday.
“That hurt,” quarterback Dak Prescott told the media after the game.
“He’s a special teammate, special player, and obviously, that one hurt. It hurt us. Wasn’t able to create as many explosive plays as we planned, and I’m sure he would’ve been a big part of some of those had he not gotten hurt.”
Pollard had run for 22 yards on six carries before the injury occurred, and fellow running back Ezekiel Elliott had just 26 yards on 10 carries in his place.
“It’s tough to ever see one of your guys go down,” Elliott said after the game. “TP had such a great year. He’d been so important for us this year.
“When TP went down, it took all our Pony plays out of the game. That’s when me and him are on the field at the same time,” Elliot said.
Pollard had a career year with 1,007 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns and was selected for his first-ever Pro Bowl. He has been a productive backup running back and was starting to take on a more significant role in the Cowboys’ backfield as his production eclipsed Elliott’s.
In his fourth year out of the University of Memphis and in the final year of his rookie contract, Pollard will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, meaning he can sign with any team of his choosing. His recovery is expected to take three to four months.
Pollard is one of 21 unrestricted free agents from the Cowboys this off-season. The list also includes tight end Dalton Schultz, safeties Jayron Kearse and Donovan Wilson, linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Anthony Barr, wide receiver Noah Brown, cornerback Anthony Brown, and kicker Brett Maher.