The NFL is attempting to accelerate its appeal of the temporary injunction granted to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, filing paperwork that threatens to take the matter to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals if a decision is not made by Thursday.
"Now that this emergency stay request is fully briefed, Respondents would respectfully request that this Court rule on the request as expeditiously as possible," the NFL said in its response Wednesday, per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram. "If this Court declines to grant relief, Respondents intend to seek a stay from the Court of Appeals and believe it is important to give the Court of Appeals the opportunity to act promptly.
"Accordingly, if this Court is unable to issue a decision by the end of the day tomorrow, Respondents intend to seek a stay of the PI Order from the Fifth Circuit on the morning of Friday, September 15, 2017, as the Rules contemplate."
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant granted an injunction of Elliott's six-game suspension Friday. The NFL's reigning leading rusher is eligible to play while the stay is in place. A formal ruling on Elliott's case, much as it did with Tom Brady in the Deflategate case, would likely take months. Elliott would likely play the entire 2017 season if the NFL's motion to overturn Mazzant's ruling is not granted.
The NFL is attempting to speed up the process to get the case into the 5th Circuit, which may be more amenable to overruling the stay. Mazzant already made his ruling and is unlikely to overturn himself.
Elliott, 22, rushed for 104 yards in the Cowboys' Week 1 win over the New York Giants.