Ezekiel Elliott Granted TRO, Ban On Hold

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott won’t serve his six-game suspension just yet, as a New York court has granted him a temporary restraining order against the NFL, according to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter links).Ezekiel Elliott (vertical)

Elliott should be available for Dallas’ next two games, but will need to plead his case to Judge Katherine Fallia when she returns from vacation around October 30. That means Elliott will likely be able to face the Redskins and 49ers over the course of the next two weeks. But the TRO could also be delaying the inevitable, as each week Elliott doesn’t accept his six-game ban is one more week he’ll have to serve later this season.

Essentially, Elliott has been given a two-week respite from the legal process after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals restored his suspension last week. Elliott and his team re-filed in Texas, but that case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Today’s decision from a New York court was thought to be Elliott’s last remaining recourse.

Elliott, of course, was issued his suspension following allegations of domestic violence. The fourth overall selection in the 2016 draft, Elliott has accused the NFL of fomenting a conspiracy against him, and the dispute has gotten ugly from all angles. Elliott and his camp have cast doubt on the consistency of his accuser’s claims and suggested her motives were profit-based, while the NFL has accused Elliott of victim-shaming.

But the situation at hand has little to do with the original accusations against Elliott, and instead is focused on the NFL’s disciplinary process and whether the league followed its own procedures. Interestingly, the Cowboys organization jumped into the legal fray today, issuing an affidavit stating the club would suffer irreparable harm if the New York didn’t issue Zeke injunction today, per Amy Dash of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

If and when Elliott is actually suspended, the Cowboys should be able to cover — in at least some regard — for his loss with backups Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. Neither back is the singularly dynamic talent that is Elliott, but each offers a vast amount of NFL experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/17/17

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: River Cracraft

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Colts RB Robert Turbin Likely Done For Year

The Colts expect running back Robert Turbin to miss the remainder of the season after suffering an arm injury on Monday night, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.Robert Turbin (vertical)

Turbin, Indianapolis’ backup running back since 2016, has been a key contributor on both offense (31.9% of snaps) and special teams (39.6% of snaps) this season. Serving behind starter Frank Gore, the 27-year-old Turbin has managed 53 yards on the ground and 56 yards through the air. He signed a two-year contract prior to the 2016 campaign, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next spring.

The Colts have two young running backs who should now see increased usage with Turbin sidelined. Marlon Mack, a fourth-round rookie who’s shown game-breaking ability already this season, and former Redskin Matt Jones will pick up where Turbin left off. Indy has running back George Winn on its practice squad, and he’s now a candidate for promotion following Turbin’s injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Sign K Nick Rose

The Redskins have agreed to terms with free agent kicker Nick Rose, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).Nick Rose (Vertical)

Rose will replace fellow kicker Dustin Hopkins, whom Washington placed on injured reserve earlier today. Hopkins, who is dealing with a strained rotator muscle in his right hip, is potentially a candidate to return later this season. However, NFL rules require Hopkins to miss at least eight weeks, meaning he wouldn’t be allowed to return until Week 15.

Rose, meanwhile, has yet to appear in an NFL game since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2016. He has spent time on the offseason rosters of both the Falcons and 49ers, however. Rose, 23, worked out for the Redskins today alongside Mike Nugent, Andrew Franks, and Marshall Koehn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins K Dustin Hopkins Placed On IR

Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins is being placed on injured reserve with a strained rotator muscle in his right hip, a source tells JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington (on Twitter). Dustin Hopkins (vertical)

With Hopkins out, the Redskins are auditioning replacements. Andrew Franks, Marshall Koehn, Mike Nugent, and Nick Rose all showed their stuff in D.C. on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reports. Franks, Koehn, and Nugent are well acquainted after they all participated in the Buccaneers’ workout last week.

Hopkins connected on 9 of 11 field goal attempts this season. In Sunday’s game against the Niners, he connected on tries from 21 and 48 yards, though he missed one extra point try.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Add Two Defensive Linemen

The 49ers have beefed up their defensive line in the wake of Arik Armstead‘s injury. Defensive tackles Tony McDaniel and Leger Douzable have been signed, as Adam Caplan of SiriusXM reports (Twitter links). Tony McDaniel (Vertical)

[RELATED: 49ers’ Arik Armstead Suffers Hand Injury]

McDaniel, 32, has experience in a system similar to SF’s thanks to his time in Seattle. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was even on staff with the Seahawks during one of his seasons with the team. In that year, McDaniel started a career-high 15 games and recorded 53 tackles (a career mark) plus two sacks.

Douzable missed the Niners’ initial cut, but he is back with the team here in October. The 31-year-old appeared in every game for the Bills last season (including five starts) and had 43 total tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Designate Obi Melifonwu For Return

When the Raiders put Obi Melifonwu on injured reserve to start the year, they did so with the hope that he could return mid-season. His recovery went according to schedule, and the second-round safety has been designated to return from IR two weeks from now, as Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Obi Melifonwu (vertical)

Melifonwu, the 56th pick in this year’s draft, wowed Raiders scouts in workouts after a strong four-year stretch at UConn. On campus, he tallied eight career interceptions with four of those picks coming in his final season. Melifonwu also notched a personal-best 118 tackles as a senior. Before the draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared him to the George Iloka of the Bengals.

Bair writes that Melifonwu’s primary task will be to cover tight ends and running backs in sub packages. Down the line, the team is hoping that he can step into a starting role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Cut DL Ahtyba Rubin

The Broncos are releasing defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin, a source tells Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). In a related move, offensive lineman Billy Turner has been placed on injured reserve. Ahtyba Rubin

Rubin was cut by the Seahawks in early September, making him a free agent in the midst of what was supposed to be a lucrative three-year deal. He signed with the Broncos roughly two weeks later. After dressing just two times in one month, the Broncos are putting him back on the curb.

Klis (Twitter link) expects the Broncos to use their newly-open roster space to add some depth at wide receiver. The Broncos have only three healthy wide receivers available heading into Sunday’s game against the Chargers. Some veteran help would be welcome behind top target Demaryius Thomas as Emmanuel Sanders and Isaiah McKenzie deal with injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Sign LB Andrew Gachkar

The Panthers have signed linebacker Andrew Gachkar, according to a team announcement. The veteran will serve as insurance in the event that Luke Kuechly is out for an extended period of time. Andrew Gachkar (Vertical)

Kuechly was forced out of last week’s loss to the Eagles when he suffered a head/neck injury. The collision with Eagles guard Brandon Brooks was extra concerning given Kuechly’s history of head injuries. He did not practice on Tuesday and he remains in concussion protocol, so his timetable for recovery remains unclear.

Gachkar is obviously not of the same caliber as Kuechly, but he will provide depth for however long the four-time Pro Bowler is out. For now, David Mayo seems likely to start at middle linebacker with Jared Norris as his primary backup. Gachkar, a special teams specialist, will probably see more time on kick and punt coverage than actual defensive plays.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Cut QB Brad Kaaya

The Panthers are releasing quarterback Brad Kaaya, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The move will make room for the previously reported promotion of Garrett Gilbert from the practice squad. Brad Kaaya (vertical)

The 22-year-old was in the first-round discussion as recently as 2015, but a disappointing 2016 season at Miami caused him to drop to the sixth round. After the Lions opted to go in a different direction in early September, Carolina claimed Kaaya off waivers. Kaaya’s off the team now, but the Panthers may seek to stash him on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

Gilbert will now serve as the No. 3 quarterback behind Cam Newton and Derek Anderson. His promotion could be a sign that another team tried to sign him to a 53-man deal off of the Panthers’ taxi squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL News & NFL Rumors