FRISCO, Texas – Regardless of the rest of the confusion surrounding his ongoing conflict with the NFL, one thing became clear Tuesday evening – Ezekiel Elliott is eligible to play Sunday night against the New York Giants.
That was one of just several developments to come out of a two-hour court hearing in Sherman, Texas, on Tuesday, as Elliott and his legal team sought a temporary injunction to block the six-game suspension he was given by the NFL on Aug. 11.
Interestingly enough, Elliott's team and the NFL were arguing the merits of that injunction before a ruling was even delivered on the appeal that was submitted to league arbitrator Harold Henderson last week. However, true to the twists and turns of this situation, Henderson delivered a ruling on Tuesday night, choosing to uphold the suspension at its original six games.
That suspension isn't slated to go into effect in Week 1, however, as NFL representation allowed Tuesday that the timing of the appeal and the decision put undue burden on the Cowboys. As it stands right now, Elliott is permitted to play Sunday against the Giants, with his suspension to go into effect the following week.
Of course, that itself won't be the end of the story. Elliott's representatives put out a strongly-worded statement toward Henderson following the ruling, re-affirming their desire to see the matter through in court.
It read: "We received Arbitrator Harold Henderson's decision to uphold Mr. Elliott's suspension of six games. We are extremely disappointed with Mr. Henderson's inability to navigate through league politics, and follow the evidence, and, most importantly, his conscience. The evidence that Mr. Elliott and his team presented on appeal clearly demonstrated that Mr. Elliott was the victim of a conspiracy orchestrated by the National Football League and its officers to keep exonerating evidence from the decision-makers, including the advisors and Roger Goodell. The only just decision was to overturn the suspension in its entirety. Mr. Elliott is looking forward to having his day in federal court where the playing field will be level and the NFL will have to answer for its unfair and unjust practices."
Judge Amos Mazzant, who heard the arguments for and against Elliott's temporary restraining order, said he'll have a ruling on the matter by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. That decision will affect whether Elliott at a later point this season, or whether the suspension will be stayed while the case proceeds, allowing Elliott to continue to play.