As Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott and his legal team await their latest court appearance Monday in New York, they've dropped their parallel legal fight against his six-game suspension -- at least for now.
The NFL Players Association did not file for rehearing en banc in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans within the 14-day window, which expired Thursday, or ask for an extension during that period, court case manager Amanda Sutton-Foy told NFL.com.
The union still could request to file for a rehearing "out of time" and the court could review its reasoning for doing so, Sutton-Foy said. En banc rehearings -- also known as full-panel rehearings -- are rare regardless. The 5th Circuit granted six en banc rehearings out of 200 petitions last year, according to NFL Network legal analyst Gabe Feldman. A federal appeals court rejected Tom Brady's en banc request during Deflategate.
U.S. District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant dismissed the NFLPA's case without prejudice in Texas on Oct. 17, five days after a panel of three judges from the 5th Circuit ruled 2-1 to vacate the preliminary injunction that had kept Elliott on the field while his legal case played out and instructed Mazzant to dismiss the case.
Elliott has continued to play after getting a temporary restraining order from a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where the NFL filed its own lawsuit to confirm appeals officer Harold Henderson's decision to uphold Elliott's six-game suspension. Elliott's legal team had filed its suit in Texas before Henderson issued his decision; the 5th Circuit ruled that meant the district court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. Elliott's attorneys subsequently informed the New York court it intended to seek rehearing en banc in the 5th Circuit.
Judge Paul A. Crotty, who heard arguments in the case Oct. 17 in New York in the absence of the judge to which the case was assigned, issued the temporary restraining order, effective until the earlier of Monday or Judge Katherine Polk Failla's ruling on a motion by Elliott's team for a new preliminary injunction. Failla is slated to hear arguments Monday.
Through seven games, Elliott ranks third in the NFL with 690 rushing yards and has scored eight touchdowns.