Appeals court clears way for NFL's 6-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott

Tricia Pearson
October 13, 2017

The lengthy court battle between the NFL and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott turned in favor of the league Thursday, as the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in in New Orleans vacated Elliott's preliminary injunction, all but restoring his six-game suspension after the Cowboys' current bye week.

Elliott had filed his suit after arbitration proceedings had been completed, but before the arbiter actually came down with a decision.

What happens next? More appeals, more bickering, and probably several months of this back and forth in federal court between the National Football League and the NFLPA, on Elliott's behalf.

Elliott's side will now have to refile an injunction in the NFL's back yard, the Southern District of NY, if they are to continue to fight the suspension stemming from a domestic violence allegation. "As there was no final decision, Elliott had not yet exhausted the contracted-for remedies".

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The NFL previously prevailed at the appellate level in cases involving Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady in which the NFLPA challenged disciplinary measures and scored victories at the district court level.

What does this mean for Elliott? The NFLPA is expected to file a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, according to sports and gaming attorney Daniel Wallach.

"The District Court, therefore, lacked subject matter jurisdiction when it issued the preliminary injunction". The Columbus, Ohio city prosecutor's office cleared Elliott of any charges, citing misleading and inconsistent information from the accuser, Elliott's ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. Henderson ruled against Elliott the same day Mazzant heard arguments over the injunction. He may have to serve his suspension, effective immediately. In Brady's case, his four-game suspension for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal was enforced at the outset of last season after he played the entire 2015 season based on a ruling by a federal judge.

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