When the Arizona Cardinals take the field for their Week 3 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, their opponent may be without star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The NFL announced that Elliott, who as a rookie last season led the league with 1,631 rushing yards, is being suspended six games due to violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The investigation has been going on for more than a year now, with this all stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident with an ex-girlfriend.
According to ESPN, Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension, which should come in the next three days. From there a hearing will be scheduled within 10 days.
Legal authorities concluded that Elliott’s accuser was not credible and rejected charging him. Several witnesses, according to sources close to the case, heard the woman yell at Elliott that she would “ruin his career” when she was unhappy that they would not continue their relationship.
The league’s suspension of Elliott differs from the 2014 ban of then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was prosecuted and agreed to a plea resolution after a full investigation by legal authorities.
The NFL believes it has investigated Elliott’s case thoughtfully, thoroughly and extensively and that Elliott violated the personal conduct policy. The league went through text messages and retained medical and legal experts to help commissioner Roger Goodell make his decision.
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Elliott helped lead the Cowboys to a 13-3 record last season. Along with leading the league in rushing yards, his 15 rushing touchdowns placed him third.
It is possible that upon appeal Elliott’s suspension will be reduced, but for how many games remains to be seen. Without Elliott, the Cowboys are likely to turn to Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Rod Smith at running back.
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