Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is eligible to play on Sunday against the 49ers after a court granted him a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that will once again block the NFL from enforcing Elliott’s six-game suspension resulting from a league investigation into accusations of domestic violence against Elliott.
The ruling comes from U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty of the Southern District of New York, who is filling in for vacationing Judge Katherine Failla. The temporary restraining order, or TRO, is in effect until October 30 or when Judge Failla returns and makes a ruling. Elliott, who less than a week ago was forced to begin serving his suspension after a court ruling, is free to return to the Cowboys. The NFL cannot appeal, according to gaming and sports attorney Daniel Wallach, potentially allowing Elliott to also play in Dallas’s game against Washington on October 29.
The NFL suspended Elliott for six games in August after advisers told the league they “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. [Tiffany] Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016,” according to a letter to Elliott written by Todd Jones, the NFL’s special counsel for conduct.
Since August, Elliott and the NFLPA have been embroiled in a legal battle with the league that has traversed five judges and three states while the Dallas running back has played in every game this season. After losing in Texas, Elliott’s legal team then turned to New York, where the NFL is headquartered, to continue fighting the suspension that led to Tuesday’s ruling. It’s the second time this season his suspension has been restrained.
Judge Crotty took the path of least resistance--a TRO (not appealable)--and deferred the PI determination to Judge Failla (maybe next week).— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) October 18, 2017
When Failla returns, she will decide on a motion for a preliminary injunction that would block the suspension from being enforced beyond October 30. If granted, it would likely mean Elliott would play the remainder of the NFL season. After more than a year since the accusations against Elliott were made, the running back is once again back on the field.