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Ezekiel Elliott suspension upheld, start could be delayed by multiple factors

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There are procedural questions, and also the potential for a lawsuit.

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL suspended Ezekiel Elliott six games for violating the domestic violence policy, and the suspension was upheld on Tuesday by arbiter Harold Henderson, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. The start of the suspension remains unclear, however.

Pro Football Talk is reporting that Elliott’s suspension might not preclude him from playing this Sunday in the season opener. PFT is reporting that at one point, the NFL usually required suspensions be settled by 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday to be implemented that week. Tom Pelissero is reporting the NFL took the position that Elliott could play this Sunday and start his suspension in Week 2.

If Elliott’s suspension starts anytime in the next few weeks, he would miss the Week 7 contest against the San Francisco 49ers. Even if he did not play starting Sunday, a six-game suspension covers the Cowboys first six games. Dallas has a Week 6 bye, so Week 7 would be included in the suspension.

However, there is also the Elliott’s temporary restraining order to prevent implementing the suspension for now. Elliott is challenging the process, and while the Tom Brady case suggests he has little chance of winning, he could end up with the temporary restraining order that allows him to play until the case is settled. If that happens, it is entirely unclear when Elliott might start his suspension.