The NFL's hand-picked arbitrator is set to make his ruling on Ezekiel Elliott's suspension appeal by the end of the day on Tuesday, according to court documents obtained by Elliott's status is completely up in the air at this point, with everyone waiting to hear from both Harold Henderson and the Eastern District Court in Texas, where Elliott filed a lawsuit against the NFL. There is some optimism that Elliott could play in Week 1, but he is facing an uphill battle in court.

In a motion filed by the NFLPA, the attorneys for Elliott confirmed what was expected: Henderson will release his decision on Elliott's appeal.

From the court document:

That Arbitrator Henderson could theoretically vacate the discipline simply means that the ongoing harm to Elliott's reputation might stop and Petitioners would no longer seek a TRO. Indeed, Arbitrator Henderson has now advised the parties that he intends to issue his decision by the close of business today.

Henderson, appointed by Roger Goodell to hear Elliott's case, has previously ruled on a similar matter, reducing the suspension of Greg Hardy -- a member of the Dallas Cowboys facing a ban for a domestic violence incident -- from 10 games down to four

It is believed there is a chance for Henderson to also reduce Elliott's suspension, although a reduction of more than two games -- from six down to four -- would be a surprise.

The Cowboys, for their part, are optimistic about the situation. Owner and GM Jerry Jones said Tuesday morning he expects to hear "good news" on the Elliott front, although good news would qualify as just about anything other than Henderson keeping the suspension at six games. 

The only thing that would be truly good news for the Cowboys would be a vacation of the suspension by Henderson.

Henderson's ruling will likely only set the stage for future battles, with the two sides set to argue over jurisdiction and other legal technicalities.