Ezekiel Elliott suspension restored by federal appeals court

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Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott stands on the sideline in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott stands on the sideline in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

A federal appeals court Thursday cleared the way for the National Football League to enforce a six-game suspension against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a domestic violence case.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled 2-1 to vacate a preliminary injunction issued to the NFL Players' Association by a federal judge last month.

Elliott was originally suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in August after the league concluded he had several physical confrontations last summer with his former girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. Prosecutors in Ohio didn't pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence.

In issuing the injunction, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant agreed with NFL players' union attorneys who argued that the investigation of the allegations in Ohio and subsequent appeal were unfair to Elliott

But the appeals court ruled Thursday that Mazzant had no jurisdiction over the matter and ordered the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss the case.

Elliott and his legal team can either file for a temporary restraining order with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York or seek an en banc rehearing of the case before the 5th Circuit. Last year, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NFL in the so-called "Deflate-gate" case, upholding Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension.

According to the letter Elliott received informing him of the suspension, the NFL believed he used "physical force" three times over five days in a Columbus, Ohio, apartment last July resulting in injuries to Thompson's face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, hips and knees.

Elliott, 22, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Mazzant's ruling enabled Elliott to play in the Cowboys' first five games of this season. The second-year running back out of Ohio State has recorded 424 all-purpose yards and scored three touchdowns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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