New York — Ezekiel Elliott felt a “burst of adrenaline” surge through the Cowboys locker room after a court freed him to play Sunday rather than begin a six-game suspension. He also blasted the claims against him, saying: “I’m not an abuser.”
“My energy level is high like the rest of this team,” the star running back said at his locker after a federal appeals judge in New York ruled Friday he can play at least one more game — at home against Kansas City — before a three-judge panel takes up his case.
His status after Sunday will be decided by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, perhaps as early as next week.
Elliott assailed what he said was the NFL’s attempt to muddy his name, saying a prolonged fight in the courts was worthwhile.
“This is bigger than a suspension. It’s bigger than football. Them trying to make me something I’m not. I’m not an abuser,” he said. “That’s not who I am. This is my name and this is my reputation. This is something I’m going to have to live with beyond football. Every day is worth fighting.”
Coach Jason Garrett said Elliott would practice Friday before facing the Chiefs.
“We’ll make sure he’s ready to go,” Garrett said. “Zeke’s a smart guy. He’s played a lot of football for us in a short period of time.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told his radio show the availability of a player such as Elliott based on what a court decides is a “new experience for us.”
Texans coach Bill O’Brien confirmed rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson was out for the season, a day after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees during practice. O’Brien said he didn’t have any other details on the injury, and wouldn’t say if Watson will have surgery.
Savage started the season opener, but he was benched at halftime in favor of Watson.
Houston signed T.J. Yates, who was with the team in 2011-13 and 2015, and O’Brien said he would back up Savage on Sunday. O’Brien also said they would sign Matt McGloin, who played for him at Penn State.
... Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has been fined $48,620 by the NFL for his hit Sunday on Tampa Bay wide receiver Adam Humphries.
... Denver safety Justin Simmons was fined $24,309 for his unnecessary roughness penalty against Kansas City.
... The Falcons’ Ahtyba Rubin was docked $18,231 for roughing the passer on Josh McCown.
... The Rams placed safety Cody Davis (thigh) on injured reserve.
... Titans tight end Delanie Walkerwill be a game-time decision against the Ravens after bruising a bone in his right ankle against Cleveland.
... Raiders cornerbacks David Amerson (foot), Gareon Conley (shin) and Demetrius McCray (knee) will miss Sunday night’s game at Miami.