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Ezekiel Elliott will play for the next two games, at a minimum

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has spoken, sort of.

Ignoring the league’s request for a ruling by September 26 on the emergency motion to stay the injunction that allows Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott to play while the legal challenge to his six-game suspension proceeds, the Fifth Circuit has set oral argument on the matter for Monday, October 2.

This means that Elliott will play on Monday night against the Cardinals and next Sunday against the Rams, in a game that has become far more compelling after L.A.’s thrilling 41-39 win over the 49ers on Thursday night. Elliott’s suspension could commence as soon as Week Five, depending on whether the Fifth Circuit stays the injunction or rules that the injunction was erroneously granted in quickly after the October 2 hearing.

The league’s primary argument arises from the fact that Elliott filed his lawsuit before arbitrator Harold Henderson issued a ruling on the appeal of the suspension, making the entire case premature and preventing the Texas federal court in which the lawsuit was filed from acquiring proper jurisdiction over the dispute.

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