Elliott's suspension hangs in the balance as courts decide fate

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has won the next step in his legal process, as District Court judge Amos Mazzant rejected the NFL's request for a stay of the preliminary injunction that allowed Elliott to remain on the field.

So now it's all in the hands of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The league filed the same motion -- an emergency motion for a stay of the preliminary injunction -- with the 5th Circuit court last week. They have requested a ruling by Tuesday, in an effort to begin Elliott's six-game suspension in Week 3.

The likelihood that the stay is granted is not especially high.  The argument of "irreparable harm" falls heavily on the side of Elliott and the NFLPA, and will be a difficult piece of the argument to overcome for the NFL and its legal team.  While the 5th Circuit court has the potential to see the case differently, the reality is that they are evaluating the exact same set of facts that Mazzant used to come to his initial decision to grant the preliminary injunction.

An overturn is possible. But it isn't likely.

Which leaves two possible further outcomes.  The league has requested that this appeal be expedited.  If that happens, this case could be heard at some point during this season.  In that eventuality, Elliott's six-game suspension could still begin during this season.

The more likely outcome is the case is not expedited, and this drags into the offseason. In that case, Elliott's suspension -- which is unlikely to be ultimately vacated -- would begin in 2018.

It's not impossible that Elliott's suspension ultimately is overturned by the courts. But given the nature of collective bargaining, and the laws that center around arbitration, it's not particularly likely.

Elliott was suspended by the NFL for six games back in August, for violating the league's personal conduct policy, stemming from allegations of domestic violence in July of 2016.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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