The NFL Players Association filed a motion on behalf of Ezekiel Elliott with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, seeking an emergency injunction to prevent the league from going forward with the Dallas Cowboys running back's six-game suspension.
The NFLPA also requested the 2nd Circuit expedite its request and issue an administrative stay. It is asking for a decision by Friday, allowing Elliott and the Cowboys (4-3) to prepare to play against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) on Sunday.
The NFL dealt Elliott a six-game suspension Aug. 11 for violating the league's personal-conduct policy relating to domestic-violence allegations by a former girlfriend. The 22-year-old was never charged with a crime by authorities who investigated the allegations.
The NFLPA argued in its appeal that Elliott will sustain irreparable harm without an injunction, saying that "courts have consistently concluded that professional athletes suffer irreparable harm when threatened with a potentially wrongful suspension."
Also, the NFLPA also said it believes that a hearing before arbiter Harold Henderson in August was unfair. "(Vacating) is also appropriate because Henderson violated the CBA by refusing to have (Elliott's ex-girlfriend Tiffany) Thompson and (NFL commissioner Roger) Goodell to testify."
Elliott's six-game suspension is again in effect after a ruling on Monday by U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla denied a request for a preliminary injunction.
Failla, who heard arguments from the NFL and NFLPA in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, stayed the decision for 24 hours to afford Elliott and the NFLPA the opportunity to consider appellate options.
The NFLPA was granted a preliminary injunction by a federal judge in Texas on Sept. 8, but a federal appeals court in New Orleans sided with the NFL on Oct. 12 and lifted the injunction. The NFLPA then went to the Southern District Court in New York.
Elliott attended the court proceedings on Monday. The second-year running back from Ohio State was granted a temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty on Oct. 17, but that order is expiring.
If Elliott serves the six-game suspension, he would be ineligible until the Cowboys play at Oakland on Dec. 17.
Failla said in her ruling that "the NFLPA has failed to demonstrate a substantial question warranting the extraordinary remedy of injunctive relief or a balance of hardships that decidedly weighs in its favor."
"The arbitrator gave Mr. Elliott ample opportunity, in terms of both proceedings and evidence, to challenge the Commissioner's decision," Failla added.