NEW YORK — Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s half-season run from his six-game suspension ended Thursday when a federal appeals court refused to let him play while it considers his appeal.
It appears Elliott will miss all of November’s games since the court set a Dec. 1 hearing for oral arguments on the merits of an appeal from the NFL Players Association.
The suspension was ordered in August as discipline after the league investigated allegations he used force against his girlfriend in summer 2016. Elliott vehemently denied the allegations as recently as last week.
A federal appeals court last month tossed out his court challenge in Texas, but the league’s request for a New York court to affirm that it had acted properly led a Manhattan judge to rule last month that Elliott must begin his suspension. After the union appealed, the lower-court decision was temporarily stayed, allowing Elliott to play last Sunday.
Although the league won the battle, the appeals judges took a few shots at the NFL for its handling of the suspension.
Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs told Paul Clement, the NFL’s lawyer, that he found it odd that the issue was “such a frantic emergency that it can’t wait another couple months.”
“This is not just about Elliott and the Cowboys,” Clement responded, noting that 100 players across the league had been suspended for a total of 500 games over the past two seasons.
— The Associated Press