If you watched DeMarco Murray in his return to the Dallas Cowboys' lineup last Sunday, it was hard to miss the hitch in his gait on runs in which he reached the second level of the Philadelphia Eagles' defense.
NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth remarked that Murray didn't look healthy, and it was easy to agree. But Murray explained to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport that the health of his foot has nothing to do with a difference in his running style.
"I wear three plates in my shoe," Murray told Rapoport. "It was fine. During the plays, they were light. After the plays, they were a little heavy. But it was fine."
Two plates are taped together, with one placed under the orthotic he wears to offset the chance he aggravates the tendon injury that cost him six games this season. It makes the shoe more stiff -- changing the way Murray runs -- but it should help prevent another injury.
Cowboys head trainer Jim Maurer told Rapoport the plates act as the equivalent to taping an ankle, but for the bottom of the foot.
"It's something where you have to stabilize the bottom of their foot," Maurer said. "And it's less mobile to keep it from flexing. They're obviously coming off a sprained ligament. And this helps support it."
Don't underestimate the importance of Murray's presence in this lineup. The Cowboys stumbled last year after Murray was sent to injured reserve with an ankle injury in Week 14. Murray is a dynamic playmaker who can bring balance to the Cowboys' offense.
Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.