NFL notes: Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott can play Sunday against Chiefs, court rules

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott warms up before a game against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 29.
(Mark Tenally / Associated Press)

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott can play in Sunday’s home game against Kansas City while a federal appeals court considers a challenge to his six-game suspension.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City issued a one-page order Friday temporarily blocking a lower-court ruling that cleared the way this week for Elliott to begin serving the disciplinary penalty.

Circuit Judge Susan Carney granted a request from the NFL Players Assn. for Elliott to be allowed to play Sunday. In the meantime, a three-judge panel will decide whether the appeal will be handled in expedited fashion and whether Elliott will continue to be allowed to play before the appeal is decided.

The suspension was imposed in August after the NFL investigated several alleged physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 between Elliott and his girlfriend at the time.


The NFL submitted papers to the 2nd Circuit on Thursday, arguing that the appeals court should not block the suspension any longer because the union has no chance of winning its appeal.

It said “swift discipline” should not be manipulated by players and teams seeking to strategically time court challenges so that suspensions are served when they play weaker opponents or when an injury would already require a player to remain off the field.

Lawyers on both sides did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled Monday that the Elliott, 22, must begin the suspension.


Lawyers for the players union said Failla was the first judge ever to have “concluded that professional athletes with short career spans do not face irreparable harm” when suspensions are enforced before appeals options have been exhausted.

The NFL said about 100 players have been suspended for approximately 500 games over the past season and a half.

The Cowboys (4-3) are in second place in the NFC East. They face a Chiefs team that is 6-2 and leads the AFC West.


NFL fines

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has been fined $48,620 by the NFL for his hit Sunday on Tampa Bay wide receiver Adam Humphries.

Davis, the league’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2014, posted on Instagram that he was unhappy with the fine and insisted the hit was legal. He was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play, which was deemed a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Davis writes that if the hit was “illegal” then it’s “time for me to retire!” He added that he was appealing the fine.


Miami’s Kiko Alonso was docked $9,115 for his hit on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who suffered a concussion on the play. Dolphins defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was not fined for either of his two unnecessary roughness penalties in that game, including one for shoving Ravens backup QB Ryan Mallett by the throat.


Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Washington due to a strained hamstring. Thomas got hurt during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 41-38 victory against Houston. Bradley McDougald will replace Thomas in the lineup against the Redskins. Linebacker Bobby Wagner (hamstring), defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (oblique) and running back C.J. Prosise (ankle) are expected to be game-time decisions. Cornerback Jeremy Lane is listed as questionable, but isn’t expected to play due to a thigh contusion. Safety Kam Chancellor is expected to play despite an ankle issue. … Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is expected to play against Carolina even after being limited in practice for the third straight day. Freeman was on Atlanta’s injury report with a neck and shoulder problem early in the week. The description was changed to an abdomen and shoulder injury on the Thursday and Friday reports. …

The Oakland Raiders will be without three cornerbacks for Sunday night’s game at Miami: David Amerson (foot), Gareon Conley (shin) and Demetrius McCray (knee). Oakland has several other key players listed as questionable, including starting right guard Gabe Jackson (ankle); linebackers Cory James (knee), Marquel Lee (ankle) and Nicholas Morrow (ankle); safety Karl Joseph (groin); and fullback Jamize Olawale (hamstring). … Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker’s playing status Sunday will be a game-time decision against the Baltimore Ravens. Walker was limited in what he was allowed to do after bruising a bone in his right ankle in overtime against Cleveland on Oct. 22 before Tennessee’s bye. … The Jacksonville Jaguars will have running back Leonard Fournette and center Brandon Linder back in the starting lineup Sunday against Cincinnati. Fournette missed the team’s last game at Indianapolis with a sprained right ankle. Linder sat out the last three games with an undisclosed illness. Left tackle Cam Robinson (ankle) and right guard A.J. Cann (triceps) are listed as questionable. Receiver Marqise Lee (knee) also was listed as questionable but expects to play. Rookie receiver Dede Westbrook, who was on injured reserve the first eight weeks of the season following core muscle surgery, could be activated. …


The Green Bay Packers have activated linebacker Vince Biegel from the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The rookie was sidelined for the first two months of the season as he slowly worked his way back from offseason foot surgery. Safety Kentrell Brice and long snapper Taybor Pepper were placed on injured reserve, while undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Donatello Brown was activated from the practice squad. The Packers are going with their third long snapper of the season in rookie Jon Hart, who was signed Friday.


4:55 p.m.: This article has been updated with more news from around the NFL.

8:10 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details and background on Ezekiel Elliott’s case.


This article was originally published at 7:30 a.m.