Ezekiel Elliott Remains Suspended; NFLPA Motion to Recall Mandate Denied

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2017

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, file photo, Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott stands on the field after their 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers in a NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. A federal appeals court on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, has lifted an injunction that blocked a six-game suspension for  Elliott, clearing the way for the NFL’s punishment over domestic violence allegations and likely leading to the running back’s legal team seeking further relief. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion Tuesday by Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and the NFL Players Association to "to recall a mandate that would have allowed Elliott to pursue a rehearing with the 5th Circuit," thus upholding his suspension for the time being, according to attorney Daniel Wallach and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Daniel Wallach @WALLACHLEGAL

BREAKING: Fifth Circuit denies NFLPA’s motion to recall mandate, but says union can still seek en banc rehearing. https://t.co/6i7FcKuH6S

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Zeke Elliott remains suspended, as of now. https://t.co/gfHTqs8vSK

But according to NFL.com, "NFL Players Association lawyers representing Elliott filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in U.S. district court in an effort to get the Cowboys running back on the field as soon as possible" with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In essence, that leaves Tuesday's hearing in New York as Elliott's last chance at having his suspension overturned: 

Daniel Wallach @WALLACHLEGAL

Slim possibility that Judge Mazzant holds off on a dismissal order if rehearing EB is requested. But injunction is definitely toast for now.

Kate Hairopoulos @khairopoulos

Always unlikely to work. Eastern District of Texas likely to officially dismiss case now. Elliott's hopes for Sun. in NY court's hands. https://t.co/xOpkMGyD1U

Zach Zagger @ZachZagger

Basically means Ezekiel Elliott's suspension will stay in effect this season, unless an NY judge stops it. https://t.co/OjuANMnZF6

The protracted legal battle between Elliott and the NFL stems from the league's decision to suspend Elliott for six games after he was accused of domestic violence. Elliott was never charged with a crime or arrested, but the NFL said it discovered enough evidence in its own investigation to warrant a suspension.

NFL Network legal analyst Gabe Feldman noted that Elliott and the NFLPA are "challenging the process the league undertook to suspend Elliott—not the factual conclusions from its investigation," however.

Feldman explained further:

"This is part of the ongoing fight between the players association and the league over the power of the commissioner. We have seen the NFL go to great lengths in court to affirm and strengthen and maintain they believe in what they collectively bargained for. And we've seen the players association fight and say that the commissioner [Roger Goodell] has overreached and they want to protect the rights of the players ... [The NFL] doesn't want precedent out there that says a court can interfere with the commissioner's decision or with an arbitrator's decision."

In other words, the legal battle has become about Goodell's power within the collective bargaining agreement, much as it did in the Tom Brady "Deflategate" saga.


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