Bottom line: National Football League won this round as 5th Circuit vacated Ezekiel Elliott's preliminary injunction & Eastern District of Texas has to dismiss case.
The appeals court ruled that Elliott and the NFLPA had not exhausted all available options when it asked for the preliminary injunction in a Texas court before the league ruled on Elliott's suspension. The Cowboys have a bye this weekend. Conveniently, that game will be against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Cowboys have a bye this week and there's a chance Elliott might not miss a single game if the NFLPA refiles the case and is granted a TRO or preliminary injunction. Elliott would then return for a November 30 game hosting the Redskins. He declined to comment. The changes came after the league was sharply criticized for its handling of a domestic incident involving former Baltimore running back Ray Rice.
The NFL appeal was part of an attempt by the NFL 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.
The NFLPA took its challenge to federal court in Texas.
The hope was that the Fifth Circuit judges will agree where Mazzant did not. Elliott is expected to now take his case to the Southern District of NY, which is viewed as a more favorable court for the NFL.
The NFL countered that it followed procedures under the league's labor deal and that the union improperly filed a lawsuit before the appeals process was complete.
On Thursday afternoon, the USA 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the NFL.
Without another injunction, Elliott's suspension might go into effect for that game.
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