NFLPA Fumbles Emergency Stay of Ezekiel Elliott’s Suspension; Appeals to Second Circuit

In yet another move to try to delay Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension, the NFL Players Association made an emergency motion seeking a temporary order blocking the suspension. The motion came less than a day after U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, on October 30th, had denied the NFLPA’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block the suspension while the appeals process continues. Judge Failla quickly denied the request, saying it would “in effect … reverse [her] decision of [Monday] evening denying the NFLPA’s motion for injunctive relief.”

Judge Failla wrote she was “surprised” by the motion, as she had explicitly provided a 24-hour stay in her Monday Order to give the parties the chance to appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She refused to question her previous conclusion that the balance of hardships tips in the NFL’s favor, and wrote that the NFLPA’s memorandum in support of its motion “focuses largely on semantic differences and non-precedential decisions.”

The NFLPA further requested an expedited appeal with the Second Circuit to challenge Judge Failla’s ruling. Unless the Second Circuit grants an emergency stay, Elliott’s suspension will take effect immediately and he will miss the next six games. Even if the stay is issued, Elliott would likely miss multiple games. However, Elliott’s chances are slim. The Second Circuit ruled against Tom Brady during the ‘Deflategate’ case and Judge Failla had repeatedly cited precedents established by the Second Circuit in that case in her Oct. 30th ruling. The NFLPA is unlikely to give in and let Elliott serve his suspension, as the case could dramatically impact player discipline going forward.

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