Appeals court reinstates Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension by NFL

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans sided with the National Football League and granted a stay for the injunction that was delaying Elliott's six-game suspension, according to the Associated Press.

A three-judge panel heard arguments on the case on October 2.

District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III issued the preliminary injunction last month after agreeing with the NFLPA that Elliott didn't receive a fair suspension appeal hearing from Goodell-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson.

The original ruling, which was handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, had come after a year-long investigation by the NFL into multiple incidents involving Elliott and including domestic violence accusations made against him by a woman who identified herself as his former girlfriend. The NFL players' union sued on Elliott's behalf.

For now, the NFL's initial domestic violence punishment stands - and the league has been cleared to enforce the 6-game suspension.

The NFL countered that it followed procedures under the league's labor deal and that the union improperly filed a lawsuit before the appeals process was complete.

In his dissenting decision, judge James E. Graves wrote he believed the district court properly and concluded the "NFL is unable to show a likelihood of success on the merits of any irreparable injury for purposes of a stay".

The circuit court's ruling does not mean Elliott's fight is over.

Elliott was not present at that hearing. He may have to serve his suspension, effective immediately.

The judges voted 2-1 to grant the NFL's emergency request and ordered the U.S. Eastern District Court in Sherman to dismiss Elliott's case.

The league won the "Deflategate" decision in the NY court, leading to New England quarterback Tom Brady serving his four-game suspension a year after it was originally imposed.

Related news: