Despite the vacating of the preliminary injunction on Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension, the legal battle is not over.
Earlier this year, the NFL levied a six-game suspension against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. That after the league concluded Elliott violated their personal conduct policy following a year-long investigation into alleged domestic violence incidents from July of 2016.
Elliott filed an appeal of the suspension, but independent arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld the punishment. The NFL Players Association had a temporary restraining order approved and a primary injunction issued to postpone the suspension in a district court in Texas prior to the results of the appeal.
In the meantime, Elliott has played in five games for the Cowboys. The second-year running back has recorded 393 rushing yards and three total touchdowns in that span.
But as the Cowboys enter into their bye in Week Six, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has now vacated that preliminary injunction. Technically, this decision reinstates Elliott’s six-game suspension immediately, which, according to the NFL, will be enforced starting in Week Seven when Dallas travels to California to face the 0-5 San Francisco 49ers.
But that doesn’t mean Elliott will serve the suspension that quickly, if at all. In fact, it’s likely the NFLPA will attempt to block the suspension again. But for now the suspension stands and the focus shifts to New York where the NFL has filed it’s own lawsuit. So, the legal wrangling between the two sides appears far from over.
The vacating of the preliminary injunction seems to be a big win for the league in the case against Elliott, making Zeke that much closer to having to serve that six-game suspension. Whether he will have to do so starting Week Seven is still to be determined, although the NFL seems fairly confident in their above statement.
As for the Dallas Cowboys themselves, the team has been prepared to lose Ezekiel Elliott at any moment. They’ve carried three additional running backs on their roster all season. Those players being Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith. Both Morris and McFadden have been 1,000+ plus yard rushers in recent seasons.