According to the NFL, there is still a chance to enforce Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension sometime during this season, and this might even happen in Week 3. People who are familiar with the league’s deliberations say the NFL believes there are several possibilities to its appeal of an injunction. These outcomes could result in Elliott not playing sometime this season, but the worst-case scenario would be if Dallas were to lose him in the postseason, in case they reach it.
The NFL is appealing the ruling by a Texas federal judge which granted a preliminary injunction which has kept Elliott’s suspension on hold while the case develops. There is a possibility that the injunction is lifted and Elliott sits out six games in case the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit grants the league’s request for an emergency stay of the injunction. If this happens, Elliott’s suspension will start in Week 3.
If the league’s request is denied by the court that grants a highly expedited briefing schedule for the NFL’s appeal of the injunction, Elliott’s suspension is going to start later in the season, if the league prevails on that appeal. In case this was to happen after Week 12, Elliott would not be able to play in the postseason, according to an NFL source.
The third scenario happens if the appeals court denies the request for an emergency stay and doesn’t expedite the appeal of the injunction. In other words, the suspension will be enforced next season, even if it prevails in court eventually. The league’s appeal of is before US District Judge Amos L. Mazzant III, who was the one to grant a request by the NFLPA for a preliminary injunction which has kept the suspension on hold.
According to some legal experts, Elliott should be able to play the entire season under the injunction. The NFL said that was not likely, but they said the possibility existed. The running back is the crucial part of the Cowboys’ offense, which he proved in the season opener against the Giants, recording 104 rushing yards and 36 receiving yards. He will play against Denver on Sunday.