DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t on the team plane Thursday when it departed for training camp in Oxnard, California, increasing the drama surrounding a possible holdout, according to the NFL Network.

Elliott doesn’t have to officially show up until Friday, when Coach Jason Garrett holds the first team meeting before the first practice. Some players meet the team in California, though most traditionally take the charter from Dallas.

Elliott has contemplated not reporting in hopes of forcing the Cowboys to address his wish for a contract extension.

He can be fined $40,000 for each day of training camp he misses and would lose the opportunity to earn an accrued season if he doesn’t report by Aug. 6.

Garrett said Wednesday he expected Elliott on the charter for camp because he hadn’t been told otherwise.

GIANTS: Wide receiver Sterling Shepard fractured his left thumb in the team’s first practice at training camp.

Shepard was injured reaching to the ground to catch a low pass. He will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis, the team said.

PANTHERS: Quarterback Cam Newton participated in 11-on-11 team drills for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery in January on his right throwing shoulder.

Newton was limited to mostly short passes in the first half of practice as the team opened training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina.

SAINTS: General Manager Mickey Loomis declined to predict a quick resolution to team-leading receiver Michael Thomas’ contract holdout.

Loomis said he doesn’t believe the negotiation positions of the two sides are far apart but also said he’s aiming for a deal that’s right for the Saints, regardless of what other teams pay for elite receivers.

COLTS: Quarterback Andrew Luck was limited to individual drills at the first training-camp practice and may not participate in full team work for three or four more days.

Coach Frank Reich said Luck is expected to work in seven-on-seven drills Friday. After each practice, Reich said, the Colts will re-evaluate Luck’s strained left calf.

BROWNS: Odell Beckham Jr., a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, made a pair of highlight-reel catches on throws from Baker Mayfield as Cleveland opened camp at Berea, Ohio.

“I feel like I belong here already,” Beckham said, “but I still don’t have a house yet, so if anyone has any suggestions on where to live, let me know.”

49ERS: San Francisco signed its top two draft picks to four-year contracts just before the start of training camp.

The Niners announced deals with the No. 2 overall pick, defensive end Nick Bosa, and second-round receiver Deebo Samuel. The 49ers report to camp Friday and will hold their first practice the following day.

TITANS: Left tackle Taylor Lewan plans to appeal his four-game suspension for violating the policy against performance-enhancing drugs, even knowing he’ll likely lose.

Lewan, a three-time Pro Bowl tackle apologized for missing the Titans’ first four games.

CHARGERS: Veteran left tackle Russell Okung was with his teammates for the start of training camp but will be sidelined indefinitely.

Okung revealed via Twitter that he’s being treated for blood clots. He said in a statement that the condition was discovered after he suffered a pulmonary embolism during a June 1 offseason practice at the team facility.


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