The victory secured by the NFL in the Ezekiel Elliott case on Thursday feels final, even if it isn’t.
It’s not final for multiple reasons. First, the NFL’s lawsuit aimed at defending the six-game suspension remains pending in New York. There, a judge could still delay the suspension via a preliminary injunction while the litigation proceeds.
Second, the lawsuit filed by Elliott in Texas is, we’re told, “not over.”
As one source with knowledge of the situation explains it to PFT, Elliott could pursue various strategies before the federal court in Texas or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which issued Thursday’s decision dismissing the case because it was not filed on a timely basis. For example, Elliott could file a petition for a rehearing, either by the three-judge panel that issued Thursday’s ruling or the full collection of Fifth Circuit judges.
By rule, Elliott and the NFLPA have 14 days to file a petition for a rehearing. Which means that, during this window, the NFL probably should reconsider its position that the Elliott suspension is immediately effective. Doing so could risk incurring the ire of the Fifth Circuit through yet another skirmish that could emerge as soon as today.