The NFL finally might have won its exhaustive legal battle against Ezekiel Elliott.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla denied Elliott’s request for a preliminary injunction, meaning the Dallas Cowboys running back’s six-game suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy currently is active.
Elliott and the NFL Players’ Association have one final legal punch to throw: They have 24 hours to appeal Failla’s ruling in the 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals and are expected to seek a stay that would allow Elliott to play during the appeal process.
If that request for a stay is denied, though, Elliott would begin serving his suspension immediately and would be ineligible to play until Dallas’ Week 15 matchup against the Oakland Raiders.
Elliott (finally) serving his suspension is the most likely scenario, according to Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann, who wrote Tuesday morning that the 2nd Circuit is very unlikely to grant Elliott an emergency hearing for a stay.
“While Elliott’s case is newsworthy, it is fundamentally about whether a football player is eligible to play in six games,” McCann wrote. “… Emergency hearings are typically not granted unless there is a real emergency.”
McCann added that Elliott would need to show “irreparable harm” to him to be granted a stay, but Judge Failla “categorically rejected this possibility” in her order.
In short: It appears the Cowboys finally will begin life without their star running back this week, as the focus now turns to backups Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Rod Smith entering a Week 9 clash with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images