NFL Notes: Suspended Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott to Play in Preseason Game

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott is likely to make his preseason debut against Oakland in what figures to be the 2016 NFL rushing leader's only game until after his suspension over a domestic violence incident.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Thursday he was leaning toward Elliott playing against the Raiders on Saturday night. And he said the plan would be similar to Elliott's only exhibition appearance as a rookie, when he had seven carries for 48 yards on 14 snaps at Seattle last year.

Elliott faces a six-game suspension after the NFL concluded he used physical force against his girlfriend at the time last summer in Columbus, Ohio, where Elliott starred for Ohio State. An appeal hearing is set for next week (see full story).

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Texans: Strong suspended for season opener
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans receiver Jaelen Strong has been suspended without pay for the team's season opener for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Strong can participate in Houston's last two preseason games and all practices in preseason. He can return to the roster on Sept. 11 following Houston's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 10.

The punishment comes after Strong was arrested for possession of marijuana in Arizona in February 2016.

Strong was a third-round pick of the Texans in 2015 and appeared in 10 games as a rookie before missing eight games last season with an ankle injury.

The suspension is a blow for the Texans, who will already be without receiver Will Fuller when the season starts after the second-year player broke his collarbone early in camp (see full story).

Giants: Smith says playing Jets will be special
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Playing the New York Jets is going to be special for Geno Smith.

Not only is it a chance for the 26-year-old to nail down the Giants' backup quarterback job in the annual preseason game against the Jets on Saturday, but it's a shot for the former Jets' second-round pick in 2013 to show his old team they made a mistake waiving him earlier this year after an up and mostly down four-year stint.

Smith is trying to resurrect his career after signing with the Giants as a free agent. He has shown flashes of being a capable quarterback in training camp and the preseason, and perplexing moments of bad decisions that have resulted in turnovers.

With a little more than two weeks to go before the season opener against Dallas, Smith seems to be a little ahead of veteran Josh Johnson in the fight to be Eli Manning's backup. Rookie third-round draft pick Davis Webb seemingly will be the redshirt third stringer.

Smith laughed Thursday when asked about playing the Jets. It was the first question he was asked and he knew it was coming.

"You always want to go out there and prove yourself," Smith said. "But, nothing extra added toward them, though. I have a lot of great respect for a lot of people in that organization and I appreciated my time there, but now it's just focusing on what we have to focus on, which is going out there and executing on game day."

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