What to Read to Understand the Ezekiel Elliott Case

Ezekiel Elliott appealed his six-game suspension and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell delegated the appeal to arbitrator Harold Henderson, who upheld the suspension. But Elliott didn’t wait for a decision to pursue legal options. Elliott and the NFLPA filed suit against the NFL in a Texas federal court asking for any arbitration decision to be vacated. One interesting aspect of the case is that NFL investigator Kia Roberts testified that she recommended no suspension after interviewing Elliott’s former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. The NFL has now responded with filings in Texas and a separate lawsuit in New York. The Texas court is expected to rule on Elliott’s request for an injunction by Friday at 5pm.

We’ve put some of the early legal analysis of the case and the important case documents all in one place – essential background reading for understanding Elliott’s case and what the potential outcomes are.

Case Documents

  • NFL Letter Informing Elliott of 6 Game Suspension
  • Transcript of Arbitration Hearing with Harold Henderson
  • Petition to Vacate Arbitration Award
  • NFL Investigative Report
  • Affidavit of Joseph “Rocky” Arceneaux, Jr.
  • Affidavit of Jason Cohen
  • Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction
  • Motion to Dismiss and Brief in Support
  • Opposition to Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction
  • Exhibit A to Opposition to TRO: Prior Arbitration Decision
  • Reply in Support of Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction
  • Arbitrator Harold Henderson’s Appeal Decision
  • Complaint to Confirm Arbitration Award
  • NFLPA’s Supplemental Brief
  • NFL’s Supplemental Brief
  • Motion to Strike or Alternatively for Leave to File Second Supplemental Brief
  • Affidavit of Jeffrey Kessler and Proposed Second Supplemental Brief


  • John Sigety: Breaking down the NFLPA’s lawsuit and the legal fights to come.
  • I explain the latest developments in the case including the NFL’s response, Henderson’s decision, and what’s next for Elliott.
  • Dan Wallach: could the NFL’s evidence exclusion pave the way for an Elliott victory?
  • Michael McCann has a fairly thorough breakdown of Elliott’s case and chances.
  • It seems unlikely that Elliott will win in court, but Eric Macramalla thinks the case could have legs.
  • Alan Milstein: something is amiss in the way the NFL disciplines its players.
  • Stephanie Stradley provides her take on how the NFL’s personal conduct policy is failing, here and here.
  • Flashback: how much did the Clutch Bar fight play into the NFL’s investigation?
  • Even if Elliott wins his motion for a temporary restraining order, the NFL could place him on the commissioner’s exempt list. For more on the exempt list, read Andrew Sensi’s primer.
  • For more on the contemptuous relationship between the NFL and the NFLPA see our player discipline library.

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