Court clears way for El­liott’s sus­pen­sion.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - SPORTS -

A fed­eral ap­peals court cleared the way Thurs­day for the NFL to im­pose a six-game sus­pen­sion on Dal­las Cow­boys star Ezekiel El­liott over do­mes­tic vi­o­lence al­le­ga­tions, sid­ing with the league in the lat­est high-pro­file fight over its abil­ity to pun­ish play­ers for off-field be­hav­ior.

In a 2-1 de­ci­sion, the 5th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals panel in New Or­leans granted the league’s emer­gency re­quest to set aside an in­junc­tion and or­dered a district court in Texas to dis­miss El­liott’s case.

The NFL an­nounced that the sus­pen­sion was ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, though fur­ther ap­peals were pos­si­ble and the Cow­boys are not play­ing this week­end.

“We are cur­rently ex­plor­ing all of our le­gal op­tions and will make a de­ci­sion as to what is the best course of ac­tion in the next few days,” El­liott at­tor­ney Frank Salzano said.

The Cow­boys don’t play again un­til next Sun­day, Oct. 22, at San Fran­cisco. If El­liott’s le­gal team can’t put the sus­pen­sion on hold again, he won’t be el­i­gi­ble to play un­til Nov. 30 at home against Wash­ing­ton, a Thurs­day night game the week af­ter Thanks­giv­ing. El­liott played the first five games as Dal­las went 2-3 in a dis­ap­point­ing start.

Wild­fires could al­ter plans: The NFL is keep­ing an eye on the wild­fires in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia and has been ex­plor­ing op­tions to move Sun­day’s game between the host Oakland Raiders and Los An­ge­les Charg­ers if it be­comes nec­es­sary.

Michael Sig­nora, the NFL’s vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said Thurs­day that the league is get­ting up­dates on the sit­u­a­tion from both teams and from city of­fi­cials in Oakland.

“We con­tinue to mon­i­tor air qual­ity con­di­tions in the Bay Area and are in close com­mu­ni­ca­tion with both the Raiders and Charg­ers, as well as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties,” Sig­nora said. “At this point, the game re­mains sched­uled for Sun­day in Oakland.”

At least 26 peo­ple have died and some 3,500 homes and busi­nesses have been de­stroyed by the blazes, which be­gan in Cal­i­for­nia wine coun­try Sun­day. An es­ti­mated 25,000 peo­ple have been driven from their homes.

Oakland, which is some 45 miles south of the fires, has been blan­keted by smoke.

Eifert out for sea­son: Cincin­nati Ben­gals tight end Tyler Eifert will miss the rest of the sea­son with a back in­jury that has put his ca­reer in jeop­ardy.

The fifth-year vet­eran missed half of last sea­son with an­kle and back in­juries.

He had surgery on a disc in his back last De­cem­ber. He ag­gra­vated it in the sec­ond game this sea­son, forc­ing him to con­sider an­other pro­ce­dure. He’s been in­ac­tive for the past three games and was put on in­jured re­serve Thurs­day.

The Ben­gals (2-3) are on their bye week. They re­sume with a game at Pitts­burgh (3-2) on Oct. 22.

In­def­i­nite sus­pen­sion: Sus­pended cor­ner­back Do­minique Rodger­sCro­mar­tie has met with New York Gi­ants coach Ben McA­doo and has been told that his sus­pen­sion is in­def­i­nite.

Play­ers can be sus­pended a max­i­mum of four weeks un­der the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment.

The Gi­ants sus­pended RodgerCro­mar­tie on Wed­nes­day for leav­ing the team fa­cil­ity be­fore prac­tice. He had been told by McA­doo on Tues­day night that he would be in­ac­tive for Sun­day night’s game in Den­ver be­cause he left the bench in the sec­ond half of a loss to the Charg­ers and went to the locker room. He later re­turned.

MATTHEW EMMONS / USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Cow­boys run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott faces do­mes­tic vi­o­lence al­le­ga­tions.

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