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NFL Investigator Recommended No Suspension For Ezekiel Elliott During Appeal Hearing

Update:

Adam Schefter reports that the NFLPA filed a temporary restraining order on behalf of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott in Texas, calling for the courts to block any suspension upheld by NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson

Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the NFL lead investigator, Kia Roberts, recommended no suspension for Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott during the three-day appeal hearing this week.

A source tells Hill that Elliott’s hope of a significant reducing his six-game suspension or success in federal count improved during the hearing.

According to Dan Graziano, the NFLPA believes it has a strong case for challenging Elliott’s suspension based on what it perceives as “serious flaws” in the NFL’s investigative process.

Graziano confirms that Robert would not have recommended discipline for Elliott based on her findings and that she was not included in the part of the process where the committee that investigated the Elliott matter recommended discipline to commissioner Roger Goodell. In fact, Roberts was the only NFL employee who interviewed Elliott’s accuser, Tiffany Thompson, during the investigation.

The NFLPA took issue with commissioner Roger Goodell imposed the six-game suspension without Roberts’ input.

Graziano adds that the union concluded that the process by which the NFL arrived at a six-game suspension for Elliott encountered significant flaws somewhere between the investigation itself and the ultimate decision to suspend.

If the union files a suit seeking an injunction that would vacate Elliott’s suspension, he could potentially be allowed to play while the case is working its way through the courts.

According to Adam Schefter, Harold Henderson, the appeals officer in the Ezekiel Elliott hearing, is under pressure to have a decision by Monday.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter mentioned during an appearance on “Mike and Mike” Thursday morning that there’s a “real chance” Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will have his suspension reduced.

“The more that I have heard, the more I think he has a real chance to have some games knocked off the suspension,” Schefter said.

The NFL officially handed down the six-game ban a few weeks ago and Elliott has since filed an appeal. His appeal hearing is expected to be wrapped up today.

Elliott is accused of five incidents of domestic violence that took place over over the course of a six-day period in July 2016.

If Elliott serves the full six-game suspension, he would miss games against Giants, Broncos, Cardinals, Rams, Packers and 49ers.

Joel Corry points out that Elliott’s $8,156,274 of salary guarantees would go away if his suspension is upheld.

Elliott, 21, was taken with the No. 4 overall pick by the Cowboys back in May. He signed four-year contract worth $24,956,342, which includes a signing bonus of $16,350,068.

Elliott stands to make base salaries of $1.58 million (2017), $2.71 million (2018), and $3.85 million (2019) over the remainder of the contract. The agreement also includes a fifth-year option for the team to consider in 2019.

In 2016, Elliott has appeared in 16 games for the Cowboys and rushed for 1,631  yards on 322 carries (5.1 YPC) to go along with 32 receptions for 363  yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 running back out of 62 qualifying players.

We’ll have more regarding Elliott and his suspension as the news is available.