The biggest story of the NFL season so far hasn’t been the action on the field through one week of play, but rather the ongoing suspension appeal saga between Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and the league. The player was granted a temporary injunction against the suspension that he was facing for disciplinary reasons after he was named as the aggressor in a domestic dispute incident. However, things are far from over for the embattled athlete, with the NFL filing paperwork that, in an attempt to speed the appeal process up on their end, threatens to take the issue to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals if a decision was not solidified by the end of today (September 14th).
“Now that this emergency stay request is fully briefed, Respondents would respectfully request that this Court rule on the request as expeditiously as possible,” the NFL said in a response yesterday, according to Bleacher Report. “If this Court declines to grant relief, Respondents intend to seek a stay from the Court of Appeals and believe it is important to give the Court of Appeals the opportunity to act promptly.” The documentation goes on to say that the league is prepared to take the next step in the process as early as Friday morning.
“Accordingly, if this Court is unable to issue a decision by the end of the day tomorrow, Respondents intend to seek a stay of the PI Order from the Fifth Circuit on the morning of Friday, September 15, 2017, as the Rules contemplate.” U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant granted Elliott an injunction late last week. The likelihood that any legal action the NFL will keep Elliott off the field for a large chunk of the season seems low at this stage, with the process looking like it will take months, as with Tom Brady’s “Deflategate” debacle. However, the powers that be in the NFL aren’t standing pat, seeking the 5th Circuit as a place where the ruling can be overturned, since Mazzant, the man who made the initial deicison, is unlikely to overturn it himself.
Elliott, 22, rushed for 104 yards in the Cowboys’ in their most recent victory over the New York Giants.