Attorneys for Ezekiel Elliott have indicated they intend to ask for another hearing before the federal appeals court that cleared the way for the NFL's six-game suspension of the star Dallas Cowboys running back over domestic violence allegations.
Many legal observers expected the battle in New Orleans to be over and the case to move to New York. But it’s clear now the NFL Players Association either doesn't want the case in New York or thinks it stands a better chance in New Orleans.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans voted 2-1 on Thursday to grant the NFL's request to overrule a Sherman, Texas court's injunction that had blocked the suspension. The ruling also ordered the Sherman court to dismiss Elliott's lawsuit. The judges said it was filed too early.
Many people thought the case would move to New York, but the NFLPA filed a motion on Friday essentially asking the same court to hear it again but for all of the judges to do so, not just three.
It's something the court almost never does. In fact, out of 200 requests last year, the court only granted six of them. The advantage for the NFLPA in doing this is that one 5th circuit judge already ruled in its favor during the split decision on Thursday.
The union could be thinking it could get even more judges on its side. But if the union does not succeed in getting a rehearing, it has less time to try to get a judge in New York to put the suspension on hold before next week's game.
Prior to all the activity on Friday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones weighed in the latest court ruling.
“This was a setback yesterday in the Appellate Court. There's certainly more to come,” he said. “However, for the Dallas Cowboys, we have to and have had to be ready just in case Zeke isn't on the field.”
After the 5th circuit made its ruling, it filed Friday to close the case. Now, the NFLPA first has to argue with the 5th circuit to get it to reopen the case.
Barring another ruling in Elliott's favor, the suspension will start Oct. 22 at San Francisco. The Cowboys are off this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.