Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been saved once again by a federal court -- for now.
Judge Paul Crotty in the Southern District of New York granted Elliott a temporary restraining order that will allow him to keep playing while a legal fight over his six-game suspension continues.
The judge’s ruling came late in the evening after an emergency hearing Tuesday. The NFLPA on Monday filed its request for a temporary restraining order.
The ruling cited "significant issues" with the fundamental fairness of Elliott's legal process, including the fact that he didn't get the chance to cross-examine his accuser after credibility issues arose, according to legal expert Daniel Wallach.
Judge Crotty: NFLPA raised "significant issues" related to the fundamental fairness of the arbitration proceeding pic.twitter.com/HdivIBzjtv— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) October 17, 2017
The restraining order will likely keep Elliott on the field for the next two weeks, but the timetable for a hearing was not immediately clear. Essentially, Tuesday's ruling buys time until the regular judge, Judge Katherine Failla, can hear the case. Crotty heard the case because Failla was on vacation.
Temporary restraining orders typically last 14 days.
Part of the hearing Tuesday saw Crotty and attorneys from both parties debating the issue or “irreparable harm.” Elliott’s attorneys claimed irreparable harm would be done by serving his suspension without due process.
Zeke's lawyer asks Judge Crotty to maintain RB's abiity to play, saying "a player can't recapture those games," i.e. irreparable harm— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) October 17, 2017
Crotty's briefing after the hearing touched on irreparable harm that could be done to Elliott by serving a suspension before his lawsuit is heard. The judge asserts that, basically, Elliott is more vulnerable to irreparable harm than the NFL if he sits out without pay.
An injunction granted Sept. 8 in a Texas court had kept Elliott on the field for the first five games of the season. Judge Amos Mazzant granted the injunction after an NFL arbitrator upheld the six-game ban handed down Aug. 11.
Last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans vacated that injunction, saying saying the NFLPA prematurely filed its request in Texas.
Earlier Tuesday, that same appeals court denied the NFLPA’s request to recall its mandate, keeping the suspension in effect. The New York court’s ruling, however, will have Elliott on the field again when the Cowboys play San Francisco on Oct. 22.
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