Redskins

Quick Links

Union seeks to block ruling so Cowboys' Elliott can play

usatsi_10380109.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Union seeks to block ruling so Cowboys' Elliott can play

NEW YORK -- The union for NFL players has turned to a federal appeals court in its quest to let Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott play Sunday at home against Kansas City as he fights his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

Union lawyers say Elliott's suspension should be delayed until the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the issue. League lawyers had no immediate comment.

The NFL Players Association first asked U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla to suspend her Monday ruling reinstating the suspension during an appeal. But she refused Tuesday, so the file was moved to the appeals court.

The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended in August after the league investigated several alleged physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with his then-girlfriend.

The union told Failla that she erred by ruling that the NFL's claims were supported by federal labor law because the league followed the collective bargaining agreement in suspending Elliott.

Lawyers for the NFLPA said Failla was the first judge ever to have "concluded that professional athletes with short career spans do not face irreparable harm" when suspensions are enforced before appeals options have been exhausted.

The judge had concluded that some of the reasons for Elliott's claim that he'll suffer irreparable harm during a suspension were "far too speculative" given all the variables, including the Cowboys' overall offensive performance, his opponents' defensive showing and Elliott's health.

The union also said Failla made erroneous legal conclusions that deserve review by a three-judge appeals panel, particularly after an "unjust and fundamentally unfair arbitration."

If Failla's ruling is not blocked, Elliott will not be eligible to return until the team's final three games, starting Dec. 17 at Oakland. The Cowboys (4-3), defending NFC East champions, are in second place in the division.

Earlier in October, a federal appeals court threw out a Texas court's injunction and ordered the dismissal of Elliott's lawsuit there.

Before ruling, Failla heard arguments Monday at a hearing attended by Elliott, a day after last year's NFL rushing leader ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-19 victory over Washington.

Failla had based some of her rulings on the NFL's successful appeal in the same jurisdiction in the Deflategate case that ended with New England quarterback Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension

Quick Links

Week 11 Redskins at Saints: Getting desperate against the surging Saints

Week 11 Redskins at Saints: Getting desperate against the surging Saints

Though the Redskins sit just a game below .500, things are getting desperate if Washington wants to make the playoffs. Winning in New Orleans is hard, but it's a necessary evil for a Wild Card spot. 

The Saints have won seven straight. Seriously, the Saints are on a longer win-streak than the Redskins have wins. New Orleans hasn't lost since the Nats were still a viable option to win the 2017 World Series. 

It's no fluke either. For years now Drew Brees and the Saints offense has been productive, but this year, the New Orleans defense is more than capable. 

RELATED: FIVE REDSKINS UNDER PRESSURE AGAINST SAINTS

Winning on Sunday will be a tall order for the Redskins, but should they accomplish the task, here are three areas to watch:

  1. Wrong side - At 4-5, the Redskins are on the wrong side of the ledger when it comes to the playoff picture. While in past years, some teams could sneak into the final Wild Card spot at nine wins, that does not appear to be the case in 2017. Six teams are ahead of the Redskins in the Wild Card chase, and all of those teams have at least five wins. Yes, Washington has an advantageous final six games of the schedule, but with a loss in New Orleans, getting to 10 wins would require the Redskins to run the table down the stretch. That leaves no margin for error for a team with a recent, and not so recent, history of inconsistent play. 
  2. Run for your life - The Saints have not one, but two running backs averaging more than 4.5 yards-per-carry. Mark Ingram is the bell cow for this team, and he has rushed for 614 yards in seven starts. Rookie Alvin Kamara has another 417 yards on the ground. The entire Redskins offense has rushed for 870 yards. Since the Saints traded Adrian Peterson after Week 4, New Orleans has not had less than 100 yards rushing. Last week in Buffalo, the Saints posted 298 yards on the ground. In their last four games, the Redskins have rushed for 256 yards. The Redskins defense has given up at least 100 yards on the ground in each of their last four games. 
  3. So you're saying... - There is a chance. Don't count out the Redskins yet. Remember, this team won games both in Seattle and in Los Angeles, against two of the best teams in the NFC. Further, the Saints have been committing plenty of turnovers, but largely, their opponents haven't made them pay. (Listen to Saints analyst Deuce McAllister in the video above). If the Redskins can run the ball at a decent rate, Kirk Cousins protects the ball and gets the offense into the end zone, Washington could pull off another road upset. Winning eight games in a row is very hard in the NFL.

Quote of the Week: "We know that we don’t have a lot of margin for error right now. We have to go in there and play our best football. Knowing we’ve won on the road is great. We’ve played well on the road, which is great, but going out and doing it again is a different story," Redskins coach Jay Gruden on the team's success away from FedEx Field this season.

 RELATED: WEEK 10 NFL POWER RANKINGS

News & Notes

  • Vernon Davis needs three TD catches to pass former Redskins great Jerry Smith for sixth on the list of career touchdown receptions by a tight end in NFL history.
  • Kirk Cousins ranks sixth among NFL quarterbacks with three rushing touchdowns. Cousins ranks 12th among QBs with 130 rush yards.
  • With 1.5 sacks, Ryan Kerrigan  will join join Jared Allen, Derrick Thomas, DeMarcus Ware and Reggie White as the only players in NFL history to record 7.5 sacks in each of the first seven seasons of a career since the NFL adopted sacks as an official statistic in 1982.
  • The Redskins hold a 9-3 all-time record playing in the Superdome. 
  • Zach Brown is first in the NFL and the NFC in tackles (96).
  • Chris Thompson is first in the NFL and the NFC in receiving yards amongst running backs (494).

Want more? Listen up

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Saints

swearinger_vs_min_ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Saints

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 17, two days before the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 1:30 p.m.

Days until:

—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 7
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 14
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/19) 24

Quick Redskins news hits

WR Terrelle Pryor missed practice on Thursday with an ankle injury. Jay Gruden said that he was getting an MRI done so he was not on the field doing rehab work. Pryor did not appear on the injury report on Wednesday.

5 Under pressure vs. Saints

QB Kirk Cousins—The theme among the offensive players is simple—the Redskins are going to have to put up at least 30 points to win. The Saints average 29.8 points per game so if the Redskins can hold them to a bit under that 30 points will do it. Since Cousins has been the starter the Redskins have put up 30 points without passing for at least 290 yards just twice. Cousins will need to be on point.

RB Samaje Perine—Welcome to the big time, kid. In his second NFL start and his first as “the guy” after Rob Kelley was put on injured reserve, he will need to be productive. The Saints’ main defensive weakness is stopping the run and if the Redskins are going to exploit it, Perine will have to get the job done.

WR Josh Doctson—He had his chances last week. A corner made a great play to break up a potential TD. The Turf Monster got him on another potential score. And a third touchdown chance turned to dust when Cousins overthrew him on a deep pattern. His chances may be limited but it’s hard to see the Redskins pulling out this game without a key catch or two from their most talented receiver.

ILB Martrell Spaight—Like Perine, Spaight has had a start or two under his belt but now he’s at the top of the depth chart for the rest of the season due to injuries. The Saints are a top-five rushing team and it will be up to Spaight and Zach Brown to make tackles close to the line

S D.J. Swearinger—He was all over the field for most of the second half on Sunday, picking off passes and providing support in the run game. He will have to do the same thing on Sunday. Swearinger will have to read what Drew Brees is doing when he throws the ball and get to the line in run support when the ball goes to Mark Ingram or Alvin Kamara. He will have to play like he is in the box and like he is the last line of defense.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it