Report | Investigator recommended no ban for Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys' Cole Beasley (11) talks with running back Ezekiel Elliott, right, on the sideline in the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

Suspended by the National Football League for six games for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott testified during an appeal process that began Tuesday and concluded Thursday afternoon. Now waiting for league arbitrator Harold Henderson to make his ruling, Elliott’s chances of getting the suspension reduced or eliminated completely may have been aided by an NFL investigator.

According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, lead investigator Kia Roberts recommended that Elliott not be suspended. Roberts, who testified during the appeal hearing, came to that decision after interviewing Tiffany Thompson, who accused Elliott of multiple acts of domestic violence during the summer of 2016.

Elliott was not charged by the Columbus, Ohio, police department, but that did not impact the league’s decision to suspend him for six games. Per the report, Roberts’ recommendation did not make the final report, and she was not present at the meeting in which Elliott’s case was discussed.

Per Hill:

“Even more troubling is that when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell conducted a meeting to discuss discipline for Elliott, it included Lisa Friel, the senior vice president for investigations, Jeff Pash, executive vice president and general counsel and Adolpho Birch, senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs, among others.”

But Roberts was not at the meeting, where Friel recommended a six-game suspension to Goodell.

It was testified during the appeal hearing that Friel barred Roberts from the meeting, per a source.

A decision on Ezekiel Elliott’s case is expected to be made on Monday, which is after the NFL deadline for teams to finalize their 53-man rosters.

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