It appears that Ezekiel Elliott will finally have to start his six-game suspension as the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans sided with the NFL. In other words, a stay for the injunction, which delayed Elliott’s suspension has been granted. They have opted for such a move because the district court which issued the stay in the first place had no subject matter jurisdiction. Moreover, the district court got the instructions from the appellate court to dismiss the case filed by Zeke and his representatives, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Since the decision is final, the league wants the Cowboys running back to start serving his suspension immediately, so that he could return to the team on November 24. He was suspended because he broke the league’s personal conduct policy due to domestic violence allegations made against him in the summer last year.
Meanwhile, Elliott’s lawyer, Frank Salzano said: “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.” On the other hand, the NFLPA is “considering all options.” Moreover, the statement says: “The appellate court decision focuses on the jurisdictional issues. The failures of due process by the NFL articulated in the district court’s decision were not addressed.”
The Cowboys will most likely fight this decision, which has come in their bye week.
How does this affect Ezekiel Elliott?
Even though Zeke’s suspension has become effective, the NFLPA is not going to remain quiet, that is for sure. We might expect them to file a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. That will question league’s standard of credible evidence, and this is exactly what NFLPA and the NFL are looking for.
Elliott did something, or he didn’t do it. But, commissioner Goodell’s power over player discipline has become an issue with many people wondering whether he is imposing it in a way in accordance with the personal conduct policy as well as the ongoing collective bargaining agreement. Either way, it is a big win for the NFL. The case could be re-filed by Ezekiel’s side, so, we might see more months of the back-and-forth battle.