Could Ezekiel Elliott be returning to Ohio? Bengals reportedly a finalist for former Ohio State RB
Ezekiel Elliott could be on his way back to Ohio. Oh, and he wants his old number back.
According to an ESPN report, the Cincinnati Bengals are one of three finalists, along with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets, to land the former Ohio State and Dallas Cowboys running back.
This report came hours after the free agent tweeted he wants "my #15 back," which he wore with the Buckeyes from 2013-15.
I want my #15 back
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) March 23, 2023
Bengals coach Zac Taylor lost running Samaje Perine to the Denver Broncos in free agency, and there are questions surrounding Cincinnati's Joe Mixon, whose season totals last year for carries and yards were both below his career averages. However, Taylor was tight-lipped when asked about Elliott.
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"There are a lot of great players who are available right now," Taylor told WCPO's Mike Dyer. "We like our team where it's at right now, but it's always funny when things get thrown around. Sometimes it's the first you hear of it, but that's how life works."
Bengals coach Zac Taylor addressed the ESPN report that said former Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is considering Cincinnati as one of three finalists. Taylor was the keynote speaker tonight for St. Xavier's 39th annual Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction. @WCPO pic.twitter.com/i0ltmRSm3t
— Mike Dyer (@MikeDyer) March 24, 2023
In three seasons at Ohio State, Elliott rushed for 3,961 yards with 44 touchdowns, winning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2015.
Elliott's 3,961 rushing yards are the third-most in an Ohio State career behind two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin and current Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins.
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Elliott, a three-time Pro Bowl player, led the league in rushing in 2016 and 2018, while also leading all NFL running backs in yards per game in his first three seasons with the Cowboys.
Elliott ends his seven-year tenure with the Cowboys as the organization's third-best career rusher behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.
Elliott struggled for the Cowboys in 2022, recording career-lows in rushing yards (876), rush attempts (231) and rushing yards per game (58.4), finishing the season under four yards per rush for the first time in his NFL career.
Elliott was released by the Cowboys on March 15.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Bengals reportedly a finalist for former Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott