On Thursday, a ruling from a federal appeals court allowed the NFL to reinstate its six-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott a running back for the Dallas Cowboys, over allegations of domestic violence, siding with the NFL in the most-recent high-profile fight over the league’s ability to punish its players for behavior off the field.
The decision of 2-1 by the 3-judge panel, granted the NFL’s emergency request to set an injunction aside and it ordered a Texas district court to dismiss the running back’s case.
The NFL then announced that effective immediately Elliott was suspended for the next six games, although more appeals could come and Dallas is on its bye this weekend.
Elliott’s attorney Frank Salzano said he was exploring every legal option available and would make a decision as to what was the next step they would take over the next couple of days.
Dallas will not play again until October 22 in San Francisco. If the legal team of Elliott cannot have the suspension put on hold one more time, he will not be allowed to play again until November 30 in a home game versus the Washington Redskins, which would be the Thursday following Thanksgiving.
Elliott has played each of the first five games of the season, with Dallas finishing 2-3 which the team and others consider disappointing.
In Texas, a federal judge issued an injunction last month that blocked the suspension, agreeing with the player’s union of the NFL whose attorneys argued the investigation of allegations in the state of Ohio and a subsequent appeal had been unfair to Elliott, one of the NFL’s top running backs.
However, the league countered by saying it had followed the procedures under its labor deal with the players and the union filed its lawsuit improperly prior to the appeals process being complete.
The destination most likely for additional legal challenges from attorneys for the players’ union that represent Elliott will be in New York’s Southern District.
The NFL filed in the same court after the appeal by Elliott through the league had been denied by an arbitrator during September.
Last year’s rushing leader in the NFL in his rookie season, Elliott was handed a 6-game suspension in August by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell following the conclusion of a long investigation into Elliott’s relationship with his former girlfriend during the summer of 2016.
Yet Ohio prosecutors decided they would not pursue any legal charges against Elliott saying there was conflicting evidence.