clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Will Ezekiel Elliott play in Week 10?

New, comments

The court denied Elliott an injunction and lifted the stay. His suspension is officially on for this week.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Ezekiel Elliott is officially out this week when the Dallas Cowboys visit the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The 2nd Circuit Court denied the NFLPA’s motion for an emergency injunction and also lifted the stay that kept Elliott on the field in Week 9.

Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension was reinstated by a judge in the Southern District Court of New York on Monday, Oct. 30. The NFLPA appealed, and the 2nd Circuit granted a temporary stay for Week 9 that let Elliott take the field on Sunday against the Chiefs.

Was a court decision the only ways Elliott could have played? Actually, no. The NFL could have allowed Elliott to play either last week or this week because of the timing of the courts’ decisions. In Week 9, Judge Katherine Polk Failla issued her ruling on Wednesday, which was after the league’s weekly roster deadline of 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. In Week 10, the 2nd Circuit’s decision came mid-afternoon on Thursday, Nov. 9.

The league was willing to do that in Week 1. The league’s arbitrator, Harold Henderson, upheld Elliott’s suspension, but his decision came after that deadline.

It’s not a league rule, but the NFL does tend to let guys play if a decision isn’t made on a suspension by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. That didn’t happen for Elliott this time, though.

Why is that the case? It’s a matter of fairness, not just for the suspended player’s team, but for their opponent that week. Jason Garrett and his staff don’t know whether to prepare an offensive game plan with Elliott or not. The Falcons’ defensive staff was in the same boat. Getting the defense ready to take on Elliott is very different from facing Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, and Rod Smith.

It’s not practical with so little time to prepare for this week’s game to ask teams to prepare for both contingencies.

So will Elliott play? He won’t. The NFLPA is running out of options, and any type of emergency intervention from any court to keep him on the field is almost impossible for Week 10. Right now, he will be eligible to return in Week 16 against the Seahawks.