Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott eligible to play this weekend

  • By Around The NFL staff
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Ezekiel Elliott is back off suspension.

A U.S. District judge in the Southern District of New York granted Elliott a temporary restraining order request Tuesday regarding his six-game suspension. Elliott is eligible to play against the 49ers this weekend.

In his ruling, Judge Paul A. Crotty writes that Elliott's temporary restraining order is in effect until either Oct. 30 or the disposition of the motion for a preliminary injunction by Judge Katherine P. Failla.

"It means he does play this week and now there is once again a clock on Ezekiel Elliott," NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Total Access. "Here is as it is explained to me: Zeke Elliott will have this temporary restraining order in effect for either 14 days or until there is a hearing in front of Judge Katherine P. Failla."

" ... So it certainly seems for the time being that Ezekiel Elliott will remain on the football field for the Dallas Cowboys. What happens now, of course, impossible to predict but at the least he will get a hearing to keep his suspension at bay a little bit longer."

Elliott's suspension had been formally restarted after the 5th Circuit ruled 2-1 on Thursday in favor of the NFL in its appeal of the NFLPA's lawsuit to have the running back's six-game ban dissolved.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott in August after a year-long investigation into domestic violence accusations made by his former girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. The NFL found he violated the league's conduct policy, which mandates a six-game suspension for first-time domestic violence violations. In a letter sent to Elliott, the NFL stated it believed he used physical force against Thompson three times over a span of five days in July 2016.

The NFLPA is challenging the process the NFL undertook to suspend Elliott -- not the factual conclusions from its investigation, said Gabe Feldman, NFL Network legal analyst and director of the Tulane University Sports Law Program. The NFL's appeal is part of an attempt to enforce Elliott's suspension this season and confirm Goodell's authority to issue punishment based on "conduct detrimental" to the league as mandated in Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement.

"This is part of the ongoing fight between the players association and the league over the power of the commissioner," Feldman said. "We have seen the NFL go to great lengths in court to affirm and strengthen and maintain they believe in what they collectively bargained for. And we've seen the players association fight and say that the commissioner has overreached and they want to protect the rights of the players ... [The NFL] doesn't want precedent out there that says a court can interfere with the commissioner's decision or with an arbitrator's decision."