Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Elliott would have three days to appeal against the suspension, which comes after a year-long investigation into multiple incidents involving last season’s rookie sensation.
Elliott was accused by a woman, who identified herself as his former girlfriend, who said she had been assaulted on five separate occasions in July 2016 by the first-round pick from Ohio State.
The 22-year-old was never arrested and prosecutors declined to charge him, citing conflicting and inconsistent information.
He faced further accusations from February 2016 involving the same woman – again he was not charged or arrested – and was part of an assault investigation last month after an incident at a Dallas bar. That probe was suspended but didn’t form part of the NFL’s investigation.
Elliott has denied the allegations but if any appeal fails, he would not be eligible to play until the Cowboys’ October 29 date with the Washington Redskins.
Under the personal conduct policy, players found by the league to have committed domestic violence are subject to “a baseline suspension without pay of six games” regardless of whether “the conduct does not result in a criminal conviction.”
Elliott is set to begin his second season with the Cowboys, after rushing for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to earning first-team All-Pro honours in 2016.