Judge: Decision by end of week on NFL appeal of Zeke injunction

DALLAS - On Monday, the National Football League filed an appeal over a judge's decision to grant a temporary restraining order and injunction for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, allowing him to play football indefinitely while he tries to overturn his suspension.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, who granted the restraining order on Friday, said he would make a decision by Friday at 5 p.m.

Even with the expedited order, the Cowboys' Week 2 game in Denver a virtual certainty for Elliott, as the league tends to make availability decisions by Tuesday. Elliott was ruled eligible for Week 1 before his suspension was upheld because of the league's standard for competitive advantage.

5 p.m. Friday is the same self-imposed deadline Mazzant put in place for the decision on Elliott's restraining order.

Elliott was handed a six-game suspension on Aug. 11, which was supposed to start during week two of the season. After the injunction was granted, it was believed Elliott would likely play the entirety of the 2017 season while a legal back-and-forth continued between his camp and the league.

Timeline: Ezekiel Elliott off the field

The six-game ban -- the league’s standard for a first-time domestic violence offense -- stems from allegations made by Elliott’s ex-girlfriend last summer in Ohio. The Columbus city attorney’s office didn’t pursue charges against Elliott in the case.

The NFL Players Association filed the motion for the restraining order, presumably to craft a lawsuit against the NFL to get the suspension decision overturned in court.

The NFL's appeal filed Monday reads that officials "hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from the preliminary injunction (ECF No. 28) entered in this action on September 8, 2017."

No other details were released.

Elliott's attorney Tom Melsheimer called Friday's ruling "a victory for fundamental fairness."

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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