Ezekiel Elliott Withdraws Appeal, Will Serve Full 6-Game Suspension

The next time Ezekiel Elliott carries the football for the Dallas Cowboys will be Dec. 24 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Elliott has withdrawn his appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A hearing had been scheduled for Dec. 1 for a potential preliminary injunction, a last-ditch effort to fend off a full six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

In a statement on Wednesday, Elliott’s agents, Rocky Arceneaux and Frank Salzano, said: “In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after careful deliberation and review of the recent Second Circuit decisions, Mr. Elliott has decided to forgo any further appeals and will serve the remaining suspension. This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape. Mr. Elliott’s desire for closure in this matter is in his best interests, as well as the best interests of his teammates, family and friends.

“This decision is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Elliott is pleased that the legal fight mounted by him and his team resulted in the disclosure of many hidden truths regarding this matter, as well public exposure of the NFL’s mismanagement of its disciplinary process. Mr. Elliott will maximize this time away from the game and come back even stronger both on and off the field. He intends to release a final personal statement in the upcoming weeks and until then we have no further comment.”

The NFL Players Association confirmed to ESPN’s Jim Trotter later Wednesday that the union has withdrawn its appeal on behalf of Elliott.

“Our vigilant fight on behalf of Ezekiel once again exposed the NFL’s disciplinary process as a sham and a lie,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “They hired several former federal prosecutors, brought in ‘experts’ and imposed a process with the stated goal of ‘getting it right,’ yet the management council refuses to step in and stop repeated manipulation of an already awful League-imposed system.”

Last week, Elliott saw his eligibility come to an end when the 2nd Circuit removed a temporary administrative stay that had allowed him to play Nov. 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This ends a saga that started in July 2016, when a former girlfriend accused Elliott of domestic violence over multiple days in Columbus, Ohio. Although authorities in Ohio chose not to press charges against Elliott, the NFL conducted a 13-month investigation and on Aug. 11 announced it had persuasive evidence that Elliott committed domestic violence, which led to a six-game suspension.

Elliott has said he is innocent throughout the process.

“When you get accused of something of that magnitude, you kind of get labeled as an abuser, and that’s not me,” Elliott said last month. “That’s not how I want to be seen. That’s not what I want to represent to my family. So I mean it’s just important for me to fight.”

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SOURCE: ESPN, Todd Archer