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Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension reinstated again, will not play Sunday

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Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension reinstated again, will not play Sunday

NEW YORK -- Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's half-season run from his six-game suspension ended Thursday when a federal appeals court refused to let him play while it considers his appeal.

A bespectacled Elliott in a suit and tie sat directly in front of a three-judge panel that considered a request from the NFL Players Association that he be allowed to play. But the court issued an order in less than an hour disqualifying him from Sunday's game at Atlanta. It appears he'll miss all of November's games since the court set a Dec. 1 hearing for oral arguments on the merits of the union's appeal.

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The suspension was ordered in August as discipline after the league investigated allegations he used force against his girlfriend in the summer of 2016. Elliott vehemently denied the allegations as recently as last week, saying he was not an abuser.

A federal appeals court last month tossed out his court challenge in Texas, but the league's request for a New York court to affirm that it had acted properly led a Manhattan judge to rule last month that Elliott must begin his suspension. After the union appealed, the lower-court decision was temporarily stayed, allowing Elliott to play last Sunday.

By Thursday's ruling, Elliott had already left the courthouse without speaking to reporters, though he shook the hand of a person who shouted that he was a "huge fan" as Elliott raced down steps to a sport utility vehicle.

Although the league won the battle, the appeals judges took a few shots at the NFL for its handling of the suspension of a 22-year-old athlete who will be sidelined while he's second in the league with 783 yards rushing and tied for the league lead with seven rushing touchdowns.

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Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs told Paul Clement, the NFL's lawyer, that he found it odd that the issue was "such a frantic emergency that it can't wait another couple months."

"This is not just about Elliott and the Cowboys," Clement responded, noting that 100 players across the league had been suspended for a total of 500 games over the last two seasons.

"Unfortunately, discipline is a fact of life in the NFL," the lawyer said. "They all have an interest in seeing the same basic rules applied to them."

Clement said it was important that players not be able to "game the system" by using the courts to delay suspensions until it is convenient for them or their teams.

Still, he noted, Elliott would start his suspension as the Cowboys enter the "easy part" of their schedule.

"This is the ideal time for him to serve the suspension," Clement said.

Attorney Andrew Tulumello, arguing for the union, urged the 2nd Circuit to let Elliott play, saying missing games was irreparable harm and the union deserved additional time "to prove these events did not occur."

The NFL did not comment on the court's order, though it affirmed that the suspension was in place.

Elliott's attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Elliott arrived at the hearing just minutes before it began. He was smiling and greeting his lawyers before he moved his chair to face the judges more directly.

Elliott had received three different legal reprieves as he played the season's first eight games.

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

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Deciphering the important stuff to watch in Redskins 2nd preseason game

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Deciphering the important stuff to watch in Redskins 2nd preseason game

The Redskins take on the Jets in their second preseason game and their 2018 home opener. All the coverage starts on NBC Sports Washington at 6 p.m.!

Remember the TV show Lost? It ran for more than six years, often confusing viewers with a rangy plot that veered from emotional to supernatural and rarely made a ton of sense. Still, the show gained a big audience by being compelling, even if weird. 

That's a little like preseason football.

Viewers know the product isn't the same game that will be played in just a few weeks when the regular seasons starts. Still, the product is compelling and offers hints, sometimes vague, at what will actually matter when the real games start. 

So when watching the Redskins take on the Jets Thursday night, don't get too caught up in stats. The leading rusher, receiver or tackler in that game isn't necessarily the most important thing to watch. Here's what is:

  • Alex Smith will likely play at least two series in this contest. The Redskins new QB1 needs to show command of the offense and familiarity with his pass catchers. An impressive drive would also help win over fans still smarting from the loss of Kirk Cousins. 
  • Losing Derrius Guice for the season last week in the preseason opener hurts. Guice looked like a dynamic runner and a talent injection into the Redskins offense. Well, he's gone, and that means a hole for Jay Gruden's group. Rob Kelley will likely get the RB1 work, but what happens after him? Chris Thompson is an established player and elite third down back, but he might not even play against the Jets while he works back from a broken leg last season. Byron Marshall, Kapri Bibbs and Samaje Perine will have the biggest opportunity in this game to prove they belong and should be more prominently involved in the game plan. Who emerges from that trio is arguably the most important subplot to watch Thursday night. 
  • Defensively, Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith are the pass rush stars for this team. Quietly, however, Ryan Anderson and Pernell McPhee strung together impressive training camp sessions. Neither player has a ton of speed off the edge, but both have size and strength. In this game, watch to see if either can generate pressure off the edge. 
  • Washington made a big move in the  secondary this week, releasing veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick before he even played a game. The Redskins truly believe in their young group of corners, and a lot of that is the emergence of undrafted rookie Danny Johnson. He can continue to force his way up the depth chart with a solid game and more in the punt return game.
  • Speaking of special teams, watch for fringe roster guys to make an impact on coverage teams. One player in particular could be Cam Sims. He looks to be on the outside looking in at receiver, but at 6-foot-5 he has height and length that can't be taught. Could Sims push for a spot on the 53? Not without making standout plays on specials. He made a big catch and run in New England to set up a touchdown, and he will need more of that against the Jets. 

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