Court clears way for 6-game suspension of Cowboys' Elliott

Lynette Rowe
October 13, 2017

In a 2-1 decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the preliminary injunction on Elliott's suspension and remanded the case back to district court with instructions to dismiss the case. That issue and a slew of others will now likely be heard by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, the venue in which the league has filed suit to confirm Elliott's suspension.

The vacated ruling means Elliott's suspension could start after the bye, though Elliott's team and the NFLPA will file for an injunction in the Southern District of NY in hopes the running back can keep playing. League-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson rejected the NFL Players Association's appeal on Elliott's behalf and upheld the suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell under the sport's personal conduct policy.

Elliott declined to comment on the pending case after Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Elliott could begin to serve the suspension, which was handed down after a year-long investigation into domestic violence allegations made against Elliott in July 2016, after the Cowboys' Week 6 bye.

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In the wake of today's ruling, the NFLPA is expected to re-file the case with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY and could seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction which would allow Elliott to keep playing, according to Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program (H/T NFL). Before Henderson reached a decision - but after he heard the appeal - the NFLPA, expecting the worst, filed a lawsuit against the league in a federal court in Texas.

The NFLPA took its challenge to federal court in Texas.

What happens next? More appeals, more bickering, and probably several months of this back and forth in federal court between the National Football League and the NFLPA, on Elliott's behalf.

The NFL filed in the NY court because it is the home of league headquarters and was the site of Elliott's appeal hearing with Henderson. In Brady's case, his four-game suspension for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal was enforced at the outset of last season after he played the entire 2015 season based on a ruling by a federal judge.

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