"There's a sense that Elliott's suspension could be reduced."
Ezekiel Elliott's appeal hearing for his six-game suspension ended today, according to ESPN, and the NFL is urging appeals officer Harold Henderson to have a decision by Monday. Elliott reportedly testified under oath on Tuesday when the hearing began.
The league suspended Elliott earlier in the month for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, stemming from an investigation that took place after an ex-girlfriend accused Elliott of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio. While Elliott did not face criminal charges, the NFL's investigation concluded that "there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. [Tiffany] Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016," according to a statement from the NFL.
According to ESPN,
"NFLPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler is focused on what Elliott and the union see as failures of the process. Testimony on Tuesday by Kia Wright Roberts, the NFL director of investigations, was crucial from the union's standpoint, the source told ESPN, because they believe it exposed such flaws. Lisa Friel, the NFL's special counsel for investigations, testified Wednesday and her testimony was consistent with Roberts'."
Henderson, the arbitrator in the Ezekiel Elliott appeal hearing, served as the arbitrator of the hearing for former Cowboys player, Greg Hardy, in 2015 and had his 10-game suspension reduced to just four games.
And according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, there's a sense that Elliott's suspension could be reduced as a result of the appeal process.
If the suspension is upheld, Elliott and the NFL Players Association could still potentially take the case to federal court. As of right now, the Dallas Cowboys will be without Ezekiel Elliott until Week 8 against the Washington Redskins, but we should have a definite decision in the appeal by Monday at the latest.
Harold Henderson, the appeals officer in the Ezekiel Elliott hearing, is under pressure to have a decision by Monday, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2017
Sources: Cowboys operating under belief if Harold Henderson doesn't rule by Tuesday at 3 p.m., RB Ezekiel Elliott will play in opener.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) August 31, 2017