NEW YORK — A federal appeals court Thursday denied a request by the NFL Players Association to keep Ezekiel Elliott's suspension on hold, a development that potentially clears the way for the NFL to enforce its six-game ban of the Cowboys running back over domestic violence allegations. The suspension would start with Sunday's game against the Falcons.
The union appealed, and the next hearing is set for Dec. 1, reports said. Pending unforeseen legal intervention before that, Elliott will miss four games — against the Falcons, Eagles, Chargers and Redskins -- before the next court date.
The ruling Thursday was made by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The judges heard oral arguments by the NFL and the union earlier Thursday.
The union was appealing a decision by a federal judge in New York to reject its request for a preliminary injunction on Elliott's behalf.
The NFL confirmed that it considers Elliott's suspension now in effect but declined further comment.
Jones vs. Goodell: The NFL expects a five-year contract extension with commissioner Roger Goodell to be finalized soon, despite a threatened lawsuit by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, league spokesman Joe Lockhart said.
The extension would carry through 2024. Goodell became commissioner in 2006.
Lockhart said that the league is aware of Jones' threat to sue over the contract. Jones is angry about Elliott's suspension, reports said.
In a three-page letter sent Wednesday to the lawyer representing the league's competition committee, which deals with the contract, and the rest of the owners, Jones said he wanted the new contract, which would begin in 2019, to include less guaranteed pay and more incentives tied to the league's financial performance. Jones noted that Goodell had already been paid $200 million in the decade since he became commissioner and that making a decision potentially worth more than $200 million should be done carefully.
The letter, reported by the New York Times, demanded that all owners, not just the committee, vote on the pay package. A letter written on behalf of the committee brushed aside Jones' claims and said his call for a full vote on the contract was "contrary to the league's operation practices."
Bengals: Receiver A.J. Green said he was fined $42,000 for his altercation with Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Sunday. Both players were ejected after Green grabbed Ramsey around the neck from behind, took him to the ground and punched him. Green said after the game that he was touched off by cheap shots from Ramsey.
Colts: Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis was released, less than 24 hours after he took his complaints about the organization public. Davis had said he felt disrespected by the way the Colts handled his demotion and that he wasn't playing at his typically high level because of a groin injury that hadn't healed. General manager Chris Ballard told an Indianapolis sports talk show Wednesday that the Colts were unaware the injury had lingered and Davis was probably speaking out of frustration because he hadn't played up to his standards.
Jets: Running back Matt Forte sat out practice for the second straight day with swelling in his surgically repaired right knee. Forte had a season-high 77 yards rushing last week against Buffalo but is uncertain to play against the Bucs on Sunday.
Patriots: Tight end Martellus Bennett was claimed off waivers, a day after he was cut by the Packers for "failing to disclose a physical condition." If he passes a physical, he will be reunited with the team he won a Super Bowl with last season.