With Elissa Ennis explaining that she recanted her February claim of domestic violence against Washington linebacker Reuben Foster in order to help preserve his career, it remains to be seen whether authorities in California reopen the case. The NFL undoubtedly will.
Foster, already on the Commissioner Exempt list due to the more recent incident involving Ennis, will now face renewed scrutiny over the earlier incident, since Ennis will presumably be willing to cooperate with the league’s effort to obtain information about both of the incidents.
In a criminal proceeding, the inconsistencies regarding the February incident could make it difficult to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Within the NFL’s system of justice, a much lower standard applies, allowing the league to embrace a shifting story that a skilled defense lawyer could otherwise persuade a jury to reject.
And so the end result could be a finding by the league that Foster committed domestic violence on two separate occasions, setting the stage for a pair of six-game baseline suspensions, with the second one potentially enhanced by the fact that it was a repeat offense.
That could be enough to persuade the NFL to determine that Foster should be suspended for most if not all of the 2019 season, making Foster unavailable to Washington (if it keeps him) or anyone else until 2020, at the earliest.