Zeke will play Sunday; stay granted by appeals court
DALLAS -- Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will, in fact, play with the team against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.
Elliott was granted a brief administrative stay by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Friday morning.
BREAKING: Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has granted his motion for a brief administrative stay.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) November 3, 2017
Last week Judge Katherine Failla denied Elliott a preliminary injunction to his six-game suspension, the punishment handed down by the NFL due to domestic abuse allegations.
Elliott was previously granted a temporary restraining order from the suspension based on questions over fundamental fairness and irreparable harm.
WFAA sports reporter Mike Leslie says Friday's stay isn't granted based on the merits of the case, but on a "we need time to review this" basis by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
2nd Circuit: "We note that the issuance of an administrative stay does not constitute a resolution on the merits."— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) November 3, 2017
This is "we need time".
After last Sunday’s win, Elliott said his camp felt “confident” the running back would play the balance of the 2017 season.
Zeke Elliott was back at practice. He said he got a call from his agent early Friday morning saying he would be allowed to play.
"I felt a burst of adrenaline when I came into the locker room, and everyone saw me and realized I was going this week,” said Elliott.
Elliott said he's trying to stay focused and not allow all the legal maneuvering behind the scenes to get to his head.
"I have to have the ability to focus and refocus and be ready to play any time,” said Elliott.
The running back’s suspension was lifted when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York granted him a stay.
For months Elliott and his lawyers have been fighting a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence and trying to get a judge to overturn the NFL's ruling.
"Them trying to paint me as an abuser. It's not who I am,” said Elliott.
Elliott and his lawyers are suing the NFL saying the disciplinary process was unfair and Commissioner Roger Goodell did not have all the evidence when he handed down the suspension.
That case will eventually be heard.
So for now, Elliott's suspension is on a week by week basis unless the Second Circuit grants him a permanent injunction that would allow him to play the rest of the season.
Coach Jason Garrett said they are prepared to play with or without him. “We control what we can control, and he controls what he can control and we go to work,” said Garrett.
Teammates said they are glad to see Elliott back at practice. "He's an infectious guy who wins on the field. He's a dominant player, so it's great to have him,” said Cowboys Linebacker Sean Lee.
How long will they have him is still the question. For now there is no hearing set for a permanent injunction. Zeke's lawyers requested an expedited a hearing.
If Zeke loses his battles and has to serve his suspension later in the season, it might impact his ability to play in the playoffs.
An NFL spokesperson told WFAA that players can be suspended during the playoffs, although documents indicate Elliott would be suspended during the regular season.
Check back for more on this developing story.