Ezekiel Elliott Hearing on NFL's Emergency Motion to Be Held on Oct. 2

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2017

Sep 10, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs with the ball against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will reportedly hold a hearing Oct. 2 regarding the NFL's emergency motion to be granted a stay in the Ezekiel Elliott case, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. 

Elliott will continue to be eligible to suit up for the Dallas Cowboys as the legal process unfolds. 

The NFL initially suspended Elliott for the first six games of the season Aug. 11 following an investigation into domestic violence allegations made against him by his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. 

That ruling was upheld on appeal by arbitrator Harold Henderson, but Elliott was granted a preliminary injunction after Judge Amos Mazzant III sided with the NFLPA and agreed the 22-year-old didn't receive a fair hearing from Henderson. 

"We strongly believe that the investigation and evidence supported the commissioner's decision and that the process was meticulous and fair throughout," a league spokesman said in a statement at the time, per NFL.com's Austin Knoblauch. "We will review the decision in greater detail and discuss next steps with counsel, both in the district court and federal court of appeals."

By virtue of Mazzant's decision, the door was opened for Elliott to play throughout the remainder of the year. 

However, the league submitted an emergency motion for a stay Sept. 15. If that stay is ultimately granted by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the NFL could be able to enforce Elliott's suspension this season. 

But according to Gabe Feldman, the director of the Tulane Sports Law Program, the NFL may be fighting an uphill battle. 

"The NFL will have to convince the 5th Circuit that it has a likelihood of success on the merits and that it will suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted," Feldman told Knoblauch. "It may be difficult for the league to convince the court that it will suffer irreparable harm given that Elliott could serve his suspension later in the season or next season once a full appeal on the merits has been decided."

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