If Henderson rules that Elliott should be suspended for any amount of games, the court could stay the suspension while it reviews the situation with Elliott potentially playing while the case works its way through the courts.
"The conspiracy to hide Roberts's conclusions as the co-lead investigator were especially harmful because she was the only one of the co-lead investigators to interview Thompson - and she did so six times", the suit said.[content-3] In addition to Roberts' testimony, Elliott and the players association point to numerous procedural issues that undermine the essential fairness of the NFL's appeals process.
"As such, not only was Elliott denied the most fundamental rights to be able to confront his accuser and to have her credibility assessed against his, the arbitrator also rendered himself incapable of directly assessing the credibility of Thompson - which was critical to the fairness of the proceeding", the NFLPA wrote. Elliott and his lawyers could not question Thompson because the National Football League refused to ask her to appear at the hearing, nor were they allowed to call Goodell as witness to find out what he knew about Roberts' investigative findings.
Those issues are what the NFL Players Association emphasized in making its case for Elliott. But the petition filed by the NFLPA will seek for a temporary hold that allows Elliott to play regardless of Henderson's decision until the lawsuit plays out. In addition, they planned on noting his refusal to allow them to question Thompson during the appeal hearing, as well as his decision to bar the introduction of notes and material investigators gathered while interviewing her. The former Ohio State star took heavy criticism when a video of the incident was released at the time, but in testimony given this week, Elliott said the incident was consensual, adding that the two had sex later that evening. The Cowboys' season opener is September 10 against the New York Giants. "The NFLPA categorically denies the accusations made in this statement", read a statement from the NFLPA.
Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after rushing for a first down during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.