An Arbitrator denies Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal

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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates after running for a first down against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SHERMAN, Texas (AP) — An arbitrator denied Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal of a six-game suspension in a domestic violence case, but the 2016 NFL rushing champion will play in the opener because of the timing of the decision.

Elliott attorney Jeffrey Kessler told the judge near the end of a nearly 2 1/2-hour hearing in federal court that Elliott’s suspension was sustained by arbitrator Harold Henderson.

At the start of the hearing, NFL attorney Daniel Nash told the judge it was “his understanding” that Elliott could play Sunday night against the New York Giants because the league didn’t want to rush the judge.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant said he would rule on Elliott’s request for a temporary restraining order by Friday. If the request is denied and no further legal action taken, Elliott’s suspension would start in Week 2 at Denver. He would be eligible to return Nov. 5 against Kansas City.