Most believed that Ezekiel Elliott would be eligible for the regular-season opener if arbitrator Harold Henderson hadn’t made a ruling by 3 p.m. today.
That had been thought to be a long-standing policy by the NFL … except it isn’t. The NFL does not have a rule or policy as to when a player is eligible for a game with a pending suspension, spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email.
And it also has nothing to do with salary. A suspended player in Elliott’s case will forfeit his game salary if he’s suspended.
So Henderson could issue a decision later in the week and that could affect Elliott’s status for the season opener. Elliott is facing a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy stemming from a July 2016 incident in Columbus, Ohio.
The NFL players’ association has already taken the case to federal court, and a hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. today in Sherman, Texas. The NFL has filed to get the case thrown out as Henderson has yet to make an arbitration ruling.
Elliott is eligible to participate in practice and games until Henderson has reached his decision.