Ezekiel Elliott likely eligible in Weeks 3-4 after appeals court schedules hearing

The ongoing court battle between the NFL and the NFLPA over Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension took another turn on Friday when the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals finally weighed in on the matter. 

The court has agreed to hear oral arguments between the NFL and NFLPA with a session scheduled for Oct. 2 in New Orleans. Each side will have 20 minutes to argue their case during the session. The Fifth Circuit’s decision to schedule the session for October is a minor victory for Elliott, who will now be eligible to play for the next two weeks. 

The NFL had asked the court to rule on Elliott’s injunction by Sept. 26.

Elliott has been allowed to play so far this season because U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant handed down a preliminary injunction on Sept. 9 that prevented the NFL from suspending Elliott until his case made its way through the court system. 

After Mazzant made his decision, the NFL quickly filed to have it overturned, but that didn’t happen. In a ruling issued on Monday, Mazzant denied the NFL’s motion for an emergency stay of his preliminary injunction. If Mazzant had granted the stay, it would’ve overturned his own decision and likely led to the suspension of Elliott. 

Instead, Mazzant’s decision has paved the way for the NFL to take its legal case to the Fifth Circuit. If the court of appeals sides with the NFL, then Elliott’s suspension could start as soon as Week 5. 

The NFL is asking the Fifth Circuit for a stay that would overturn Mazzant’s injunction, which is currently allow Elliott to play. If the Fifth Circuit rules in Elliott’s favor, then he’ll likely be able to play the entire season as his case plays out in the court system. 

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