Suspension back on for RB Elliott
FRISCO, Texas — A federal appeals court cleared the way Thursday for the NFL to impose a six-game suspension on Dallas Cowboys star running back 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 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 ina disappointing start.
A federal judge in Texas issued the injunction blocking the suspension last month, agreeing with NFL players union attorneys who argued that the investigation of the allegations in Ohio and a subsequent appeal were unfair to Elliott, one of the league’s standout running backs. The NFL countered that it followed procedures under the league’s labor deal and that the union improperly filed a lawsuit before the appeals processwas complete.
The 2016 NFL rushing leader as a rookie, Elliott was suspended in August by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after the league concluded a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriendat the time.