The next step in the legal battle between Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and the National Football League has been scheduled. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has set a date for their hearing of the NFL's request to have Elliott's suspension become immediately effective.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hold a hearing on the NFL's emergency motion on the Ezekiel Elliott's injunction on Oct. 2
The NFL had requested an expedited hearing and there was talk it could happen as soon as today. There was even talk that a decision could put Elliott's status for this Monday night's game in question. However, now there is no doubt that Zeke will play against the Arizona Cardinals this week and in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Rams.
What the league wants is for the stay of Zeke's suspension, granted a few weeks ago by Judge Mazzant of Texas, to be nullified by the higher court. They are arguing that the court's interference undermines the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the league's agreed-upon power to discipline players.
Mazzant's decision to temporarily block the suspension was based on the appearance of “fundamental unfairness” in the NFL's handling of Elliott's case, particularly his appeal that was heard by Harold Henderson. He contends that Elliott would suffer “irreparable harm” if he misses games while still pursuing a legal resolution, given that there is no way to back in time and replay those games if Zeke and the Players Union win their lawsuit.
One legal expert weighed in on the situation, particularly the Fifth Circuit's decision regarding the hearing date:
Don't want to read too much into this, but 5th Circuit could have denied the stay (and typically does) without a hearing. https://t.co/1H9WgNupDL
— Gabe Feldman (@SportsLawGuy) September 22, 2017
What Mr. Feldman is saying that the court could have made a summary judgment based on the information they already had, which probably would have been in the NFL's favor. That the court has chosen have the hearing is a sign that they are wanting to do a closer examination of the case details. The NFL has the superficial argument while Elliott and the NFLPA have the more complex one, so the hearing is another small win for Zeke.
The saga continues on October 2nd.