NFL news and notes: Cowboys want Ezekiel Elliott fresh for playoffs; Colts work out Brock Osweiler

Ezekiel Elliott holdout: Cowboys offer to make star 2nd highest-paid running back, report says

With one team seemingly prepared to lose a star player for at least part of the regular season, another team has no choice but to keep their distance from one of theirs.

Meanwhile, a couple of other players appear to be extending their absence after succumbing to setbacks in their injury recovery.

Three things that matter

Jerry Jones takes clear stance on Ezekiel Elliott holdout

And it’s probably not what Dallas fans want to hear, as the Cowboys owner hinted the team is prepared to play without their star rusher to start the season.

“We want Zeke when we get to the playoffs. We want Zeke when we’re in the dog days of this season,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan. “We may very well play without a player that’s not coming in on his contract. We’ll play and we’ll play well.”

Elliott has one year left on his rookie contract as well as a fifth-year team option but has been holding out for a new deal all preseason while he trains in Mexico, even after the Cowboys reportedly offered to make him the league’s second-highest paid running back.

Colts host veteran Brock Osweiler for visit

It’s been four days since Andrew Luck announced his surprise retirement at age 29 and while Indianapolis has yet to officially name Jacoby Brissett the team’s season-opening starter, the Colts reportedly ramped up their search for a solid backup.

They still have Phillip Walker, who has never played a regular-season snap, and Chad Kelly, who is suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Osweiler went 2-3 as a starter for the Dolphins in place of Ryan Tannehill last season, but Peyton Manning’s former backup certainly has the experience the Colts are looking for.

Jerick McKinnon has setback in knee rehab

The 49ers running back tore his ACL last September and was activated from the PUP list earlier this month, though Niners general manager John Lynch is concerned a recent “flare up” could keep him off the field.

“Just because he’s kind of working through this, we’re working it, I’m going to kind of leave it at that, but yesterday was not encouraging from that standpoint,” Lynch said. “What that means, we’re not sure yet, and we’re working hard to find that out.”

Two things that don’t matter

Kareem Hunt barred from Browns facility during ban

However, teammate and receiver Antonio Callaway will be permitted to attend meetings and other team functions while serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Cleveland.com that Hunt will not be allowed at the Browns facility until his suspension is over. The running back’s ban stems from an incident in which he was seen kicking a woman on video and goes into effect Sunday, though Hunt can return after the Browns play the Broncos on November 3.

Jake Butt slated for second knee surgery

The Broncos tight end was optimistic about his comeback campaign in 2019 after he tore his ACL in practice last September, but it was reported that Butt is set to undergo a “minor procedure” as he continues to deal with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

Broncos coach Vic Fangio already made it clear Tuesday that Butt won’t practice this week or play in Thursday’s final exhibition game against the Cardinals.

“When he starts to feel good and plays or practices, then it flares back up again,” Fangio said, per the team’s official website. “It’s just something we’re going to have to deal with here. He won’t play in this game and he may miss some time.”

One video you have to see

It appears the cast of “Happy Gilmore” snuck into Green Bay’s annual welcome back luncheon in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Wednesday’s tweet of the day

No, captain, thank you.