A federal appeals court overturned a district court’s decision in the Ezekiel Elliott case Thursday, meaning the Dallas Cowboys running back’s six-game suspension has been reinstated.
Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of the NFL that the district court did not have subject matter jurisdiction in Elliott case after hearing oral arguments from the league and NFL Players Association lawyers earlier this month.
“Earlier today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the preliminary injunction that prohibited the league from imposing the six-game suspension issued to Ezekiel Elliott for a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy,” the league wrote in a statement.
“The Court also directed the district court to dismiss the union’s lawsuit which was filed on Elliott’s behalf.
District Court for the Southern District of New York and seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in order to keep Elliott playing, according to Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program.
“So the Players Association could ask the district court in New York or perhaps some other court to reinstate the preliminary injunction, which would put that suspension back on hold,” Feldman said on NFL Network’s TNF First Look.
Unless lawyers for Elliott and NFLPA can get the suspension put on hold again, Elliott will miss games against the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers.
Rather, it ruled the lower court lacked “subject matter jurisdiction” because the union filed a “premature” lawsuit before an arbitration decision was made on Elliott’s suspension.
The NFL’s appeal was part of an attempt to enforce Elliott’s suspension this season and confirm NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s authority to issue punishment based on “conduct detrimental” to the league as mandated in Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement.
District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III issued the preliminary injunction last month after agreeing with the NFLPA that Elliott didn’t receive a fair suspension appeal hearing from Goodell-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson.