As the NFL and NFL Players Association wait for clarity (or something close to it) from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit regarding whether Ezekiel Elliott‘s injunction will remain in place while he pursues a petition for rehearing, the NFLPA will be seeking relief from the other court where Elliott-related issues are pending.
The NFLPA will be filing on Elliott’s behalf a motion for preliminary injunction that seeks an order blocking the suspension until the Fifth Circuit clarifies the situation. This filing will flow from the frustration and confusion that the NFLPA surely is feeling regarding the unexpected (from the NFLPA’s perspective) decision of the Fifth Circuit to mandate dismissal of the Texas case before Elliott could pursue further appellate rights. It also represents an avenue for obtaining a court order that could be use to compel the NFL to allow Elliott to participate in practice, be at the facility, etc. until the Fifth Circuit acts.
If the Fifth Circuit eventually rules that the injunction is scrapped and the suspension is determined to be effective, the NFLPA then intends to file a motion for preliminary injunction that would be similar if not identical to the motion filed last month in Texas. The argument then would be that the procedures afforded to Elliott were fundamentally unfair, that he will suffer irreparable harm if forced to miss games before his rights are resolved, and that he has enough of a chance at succeeding to justify blocking the suspension until the litigation ends.
Here’s something else to watch: It’s possible that the Cowboys intervene soon in either of the two pending cases. If it happens, that would officially pit the Cowboys against the league in a court of law, something that likely hasn’t happened since Al Davis last sued the NFL.