The National Football League announced this morning Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games without pay stemming from multiple instances of physical violence stemming from July 2016.
According to a statement released by the NFL, the league conducted an extensive investigation over the past one year. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.
In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL’s Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”
After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.
Elliott may appeal this decision within three business days. If he does not appeal, Elliott’s suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Elliott will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys’ Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Last season, Elliott ran for 1,631 yards, third most for a rookie in NFL history. Furthermore, his $8 million plus guaranteed salary for the 2017 season has been voided. Finally, Elliott was told by the League, if he has “any additional violations” of the NFL police, it “may result in your suspension or potential banishment.”