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NFL notebook: Cowboys RB Elliott sees suspension restored

Sports Xchange - Friday 13th October, 2017

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott suffered a blow on Thursday when a federal appeals court lifted the injunction that prevented him from serving a six-game suspension over an alleged domestic violence incident.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans voted 2-1 in favor of the NFL, which requested an emergency hearing after a district court in Texas blocked the suspension last month. The appeals court ordered the Texas court to dismiss Elliott's case.

Pratik Shah, a lawyer representing the NFL, insisted the NFL Players Association filed its case in the wrong jurisdiction per last month's hearing in Sherman, Texas.

The Circuit Court agreed and said in its majority decision that the Players Association filed its lawsuit to have Elliott's suspension dissolved before an arbitrator could make his decision.

Elliott's representatives are expected to appeal Thursday's developments. The Cowboys have a bye this week.

--New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been suspended indefinitely following a meeting with coach Ben McAdoo.

The announcement comes a day after McAdoo said that the Pro Bowl cornerback was suspended after he left the facility before practice, but did not divulge a length of time for the ban. Rodgers-Cromartie can be suspended up to four weeks per the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLPA.

Rodgers-Cromartie left the facility because was upset after learning Tuesday he would be inactive for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. He threw his helmet in disgust when he was taken off the field late in Sunday's 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Rodgers-Cromartie stands to lose $410,588 each week he is suspended. He has one more season left on the five-year contract he signed before the 2014 season. He has 26 tackles and a half-sack this season.

--Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders is still scheduled to be played in the Bay Area but NFL officials are study contingency options as the wildfires north of Oakland continue to rage out of control.

The wildfires have killed at least 27 people through Thursday afternoon in the famous Northern California wine country and have also led to extremely poor air quality throughout the region.

"We continue to monitor air quality conditions in the Bay Area and are in close communication with both the Raiders and Chargers, as well as local authorities," NFL spokesman Michael Signora stated on Thursday. "At this point, the game remains scheduled for Sunday in Oakland."

The Raiders moved up practice on Thursday and eventually cut it short for the second straight day due to the air quality. Once again, some players wore masks under their facemasks during practice.

--Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford and wide receiver Stefon Diggs sat out practice for the second straight day.

Bradford returned from a three-game absence due to an ailing left knee in Monday's 20-17 victory over Chicago before aggravating the injury in the first half.

Should Bradford remain sidelined, Case Keenum would draw the start for the Vikings (3-2) in Sunday's home game against the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers (4-1). Keenum has four touchdown passes and no turnovers this season.

A groin injury limited Diggs to just one catch for four yards versus the Bears. The 23-year-old leads the team with 395 yards receiving and four touchdowns to go along with 23 catches.

--Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert will undergo season-ending surgery on his back, multiple media outlets reported and the Bengals made a move that reflects that decision as they placed Eifert on injured reserve.

Eifert consulted with noted spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles to determine if he should have micro-disk surgery, which will sideline him for four to six months. The surgical procedure on his back will be the third for the 6-foot-6, 255-pounder.

Eifert appeared to sustain the injury during Cincinnati's 13-9 loss to the Houston Texans on Sept. 14. The 27-year-old Eifert was selected to the Pro Bowl after reeling in 13 touchdown passes during the 2015 season. He has just four catches for 46 yards in two games this season.

Eifert has 127 receptions for 1,537 yards and 20 touchdowns in 39 career games since being selected with a first-round pick (21st overall) in the 2013 draft out of Notre Dame.

--Super Bowl XLIV star Tracy Porter was arrested on charges of domestic battery and drug possession in Baton Rouge, La., police confirmed.

The arrest stemmed from an Oct. 5 incident in which Porter and his girlfriend engaged in physical alteration at a truck-driving school.

A verbal altercation turned physical, according to a Baton Rouge police spokesman, with the woman claiming Porter held her arms, pushed her against a vehicle and grabbed her around her neck and facial area. There were bruises in those areas consistent with her statement, according to the spokesman.

Porter did not dispute that the altercation occurred, but said it was in self-defense. The 31-year-old Porter was found to be in possession of marijuana, acetaminophen and a firearm. He was charged with battery of a dating partner, possession of marijuana and intent to distribute a schedule 2 drug.

Porter became a New Orleans Saints' legend when he intercepted Peyton Manning and returned the ball 74 yards for a touchdown to help seal a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Feb. 7, 2010.

--Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews said on social media that he will quit the game if the NFL forces players to stand during the national anthem.

Matthews' stance came in response to a question via quitter that asked: "If NFL makes new rule on anthem will you still stay in locker room and face the fine/penalty?"

He responded with a tweet: "No I will be done playing football."

The posting has since been deleted from Matthews' Twitter account, although a screen shot of it was saved by Paul Kuharsky, a writer who covers the team. Matthews is from a military family. His half-brother, who was killed in Afghanistan, served 10 years in the Marines and his father served 21 years in the Marines.

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