UPDATED: Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Saga: NFL Sues NFLPA, This Might Affect Zeke In 2017

Ezekiel Elliott Loses NFL Appeal

Ezekiel Elliott Loses NFL Appeal

Are you ready for some lawsuits?!? Good, because you’re getting them.

The NFL jumped in the fray as a plaintiff against the NFLPA late on Tuesday night, filing a lawsuit against the union in New York to try and uphold the Ezekiel Elliott suspension.

See also: UPDATED: Ezekiel Elliott Not Cooperating With The NFL Investigation — The NFL Punishes Him

Elliott, who was suspended for the first six games of the 2017 season back on August 12, filed an appeal with the league to overturn the suspension. Arbitrator Harold Henderson declined the opportunity and upheld Elliott’s suspension at six games, saying he is not at liberty to “second guess” commissioner Roger Goodell’s disciplinary choices (even though he’s done just that before).

Shortly after the ruling from Henderson was announced, the NFL filed a lawsuit against the NFLPA in the Southern District Court of New York asking the court to uphold the ruling against Elliott and impose the six-game suspension.

This is notable because Elliott and the NFLPA jumped the gun and beat the NFL to court, suing the league in the Eastern District Court of Texas.

See also: UPDATED: What You Need To Know About The Ezekiel Elliott Situation — NFL Makes Official Announcement

What’s the difference, you ask? Well, the New York court is traditionally more management friendly and where the NFL often files its lawsuits and battles against the NFLPA. The Texas court is more of a wild card and would probably tend to be more labor friendly; it is also a little bit more of a “homefield advantage” for Elliott’s side.

Two exhibits were included along with the lawsuit filed by the NFL: a copy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the letter from Henderson to the parties involved in the Elliott appeal. The message was clear from the league: the CBA dictates what happens in this case, and the CBA says Goodell can do what he wants.

The NFL isn’t wrong. Elliott was already facing an uphill battle in court and if the league secures jurisdiction in New York, it could very well become an even steeper climb for the Cowboys running back.

What makes this interesting to the average fan is that the legal process is now incredibly complicated. This is something courts deal with on a regular basis, but when they do, they usually aren’t facing three-day deadlines. The 2017 NFL season begins in less than 48 hours and the Cowboys’ season begins in less than a week.

Elliott is already playing Week 1 after the NFL acquiesced to concerns about time with a judge in Texas. Now the question is whether the two courts would prefer to, ahem, punt these cases down the road a bit and just grant an injunction for Elliott to play in 2017 while the sides sort everything out.

There is zero inclination to settle from either side. The NFL does not actually care about Elliott serving his suspension — it cares about ensuring the ability of the CBA to grant Goodell power to do what he wants (at least until the next negotiation). Elliott is willing to fight until he has exhausted all his means.

Things are so complicated at this point it might simply be easier to let Elliott play and sort things out later, rather than rule against him and potentially incur irreparable damages.