Appeals court rules against Elliott; 6-game suspension reinstated
The saga involving the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott had another chapter added Thursday, as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the preliminary injunction in the running back's case, resulting in his six-game suspension being reinstated, according to NFL.com.
Earlier today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the preliminary injunction that prohibited the league from imposing the six-game suspension issued to Ezekiel Elliott for a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy. The Court also directed the district court to dismiss the union's lawsuit which was filed on Elliott's behalf. As a result, Elliott's suspension will begin effective immediately. Elliott is eligible to return to the team on Friday, November 24 following the Cowboys' Thursday, November 23 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The court heard arguments from both the NFL and NFLPA earlier this month and ruled 2-1 Thursday in favor of the NFL, citing a lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the part of the district court.
Judges Edward C. Prado and Jennifer Walker Elrod released a statement Thursday, clarifying their majority ruling:
"At the time the NFLPA filed the complaint, it was possible the arbitrator could have issued a final decision that was favorable to Elliott. Elliott cannot show it was futile to wait for a final decision simply because he believed the arbitrator would issue an unfavorable ruling. As there was no final decision, Elliott had not yet exhausted the contracted-for remedies."
According to Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program, the NFLPA is expected to re-file the case with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York as well as seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
Elliott's lawyer, Frank Salzano, also released a statement regarding the decision:
"We are currently exploring all of our legal options and will make a decision as to what is the best course of action in the next few days. Until that time we have no further comment on the 5th circuit's decision."
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