On Monday, the NFL filed an appeal of the preliminary injunction blocking the six game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The league filed their appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
However, it’s not clear how quickly the appeal will be heard. According to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, the league also plans to request an expedited appeal from the Fifth Circuit.
But what does that mean?
Even if the Fifth Circuit granted the league their expedited appeal, there’s no way to know if that will make a significant difference in how quickly the case is heard. In the Tom Brady “Deflategate” case the Fifth Circuit granted the league an expedited appeal. However, the case still took six months.
The average time from notice of appeal to a decision in the Fifth Circuit is eight months so Elliott’s case could go on for a while. For Elliott and Cowboys fans, this is a good thing… I guess. Because the longer the case drags on the longer Elliott can play.
Furthermore, the injunction likely means Elliott will be allowed to play the entire season. Although, if Judge Amos Mazzant’s decision is suddenly overturned, Elliott’s suspension could go into effect immediately.
What’s the next move?
The league obviously wants a decision from the courts as soon as possible. But unfortunately, they will have to be patient. Their recent court filings won’t likely change Ezekiel Elliott’s availability for the Dallas Cowboys, at least for awhile.
The league is also expected to file a motion asking for a stay of the case to block any further action being taken by District Court Judge Mazzant.
Elliott played in the Cowboys season opener against the New York Giants Sunday night. He rushed for 104 yards, helping his team secure a 19-3 victory over the Giants. The Cowboys’ next game will be played on September 17 against the Denver Broncos.