By Dylan Botelho, Staff Writer
What began as a 6-game suspension starting week one of the NFL season has now been erased, at least in 2017, for Dallas Cowboys running-back Ezekiel Elliott.
Federal Judge Amos Mazzant of Texas granted a preliminary injunction for Elliott’s domestic violence case on Friday before week one, fundamentally allowing him to play out the 6-game suspension handed down to him by the NFL.
The NFL issued Elliott’s 6-game suspension last month under the alleged domestic violence against his then girlfriend Tiffany Thompson, in July of 2016. Elliott immediately appealed the suspension.
However, Roger Goodell’s designated arbitrator Harold Henderson, ended up upholding the suspension. Elliott then sued the NFL and the league responded by filing a motion to dismiss Elliott’s federal court case.
Elliott’s original 6-game suspension allowed him to play week one of the season, and sit out the following six due to Judge Mazzant ruling in his favor, which kept the NFL from enforcing its 6-game suspension immediately.
Now, none of this means that Elliott will completely avoid his suspension. It means he’ll be able to play while the matter gets sorted out in the courts. This will be familiar for New England Patriots fans, as Tom Brady won the first round of his court battle with the NFL.
Brady of course, eventually served his 4-game suspension. Elliott will likely end up serving his 6-game suspension next season if the NFL prevails in the court system.
It is worth noting though that this past week the NFL made an attempt to expedite the court process regarding Elliot’s case and were subsequently denied by a Texas judge, meaning the case will end up in the Supreme Court.
Many experts believe, though, that Elliott may beat out the league in the courts and therefore eradicate his 6-game suspension.
NFL lead investigator, Kia Roberts testified during Elliott’s appeal recommending that he should not be suspended.
Roberts was the only NFL employee who spoke to Elliott’s ex-girlfriend and accuser, Tiffany Thompson, yet still believes his suspension shouldn’t be upheld.
All that being said, anyone who read the Wells Report, which was essentially a summary of the NFL investigation into Deflategate, can tell you that spotty evidence did not stop the NFL from suspending Brady.
It’s been a messy situation for Elliott, the NFL, and the court system. Elliott’s suspension was upheld by the NFL’s designated arbitrator, Harold Henderson, Tuesday before Judge Mazzant later granted the preliminary injunction on the basis of an unfair hearing.
Elliott then sued the NFL, claiming the league-orchestrated a conspiracy by senior NFL executives to hide critical information. This has been theorized by plenty over the continuation of this matter, as it’s believed that the NFL has been unfairly prosecuting Elliott in order to make up for former domestic violence cases in which the league fumbled.
They’ve clearly picked the wrong case, as Elliott’s has very little validity and could not be proven true in the court system before the NFL stepped in. It seems they’ve purposely left information out of the courts and public eye in order to strengthen their case against Elliott.
While things in the courtroom might be looking okay for Zeke, one has to wonder what these allegations and court proceedings are going to do to his game as he is currently only rushing for 3.4 yards a carry.
Not to mention he delivered what might go down as the worst performance of his career this Sunday against the Denver Broncos as he rushed for an absolutely heinous eight yards on nine carries.
The Broncos defense certainly played a fantastic game, however eight yards for a running back of Zeke’s caliber is something to worry about, especially when he is fighting the league for a domestic abuse suspension.
As the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft, Elliott led the league with 1,631 rushing yards.
Whether the NFL likes it or not, he has become one of the many faces of the league after only his first season.
The Dallas Cowboys will be hosted by the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football, where Elliott will be looking for a much needed bounce back performance.
Much like Deflategate, this saga is likely to continue for the next several months and heavily impact the NFL and Commissioner Goodell, who’s contract negotiations are being held up by Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones.
Keep your eyes peeled for more news on the ever evolving Ezekiel Elliott drama.