FRISCO, Texas --(AP) A federal appeals court has lifted an injunction that blocked a six-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, clearing the way for the NFL's punishment over domestic violence allegations and likely leading to the running back's legal team seeking further relief.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Thursday granted the league's emergency request to set aside the injunction and ordered the district court in Texas to dismiss Elliott's case. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to back the NFL's argument.
A federal judge in Texas issued an injunction that blocked the suspension last month, agreeing with NFL players' union attorneys who argued that the investigation of the allegations in Ohio and subsequent appeal were unfair to Elliott.
The NFL countered that it followed procedures under the league's labor deal and that the union improperly filed a lawsuit before the appeals process was complete.
The case might not be done yet and further appeals are possible.
"We are currently exploring all of our legal options and will make a decision as to what is the best course of action in the next few days," Frank Salzano, one of Elliott's attorneys, told ESPN's Todd Archer. "Until that time we have no further comment on the 5th circuit's decision."
The Cowboys (2-3) have a bye this weekend. If the suspension holds, Elliott would miss games against the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers.
He would be eligible to return in Week 13 against Washington.
Elliott played the first five games while the case was in the courts. He rushed for 393 yards on 105 carries, an average of just 3.7 yards. He led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards last season as a rookie.
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