Report: 'Real chance' that Ezekiel Elliott's suspension will be reduced multiple games

The Ezekiel Elliott hearing continues to drag on into its third day of negotiations, with Elliott having begun to meet with the NFL on Tuesday and the hearing carrying right on into Thursday. It appears to be going pretty well for the Cowboys running back, because the chatter currently indicates he could see his six-game suspension, which was handed down by the league in early August, reduced.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, there is a "real chance" that arbitrator Harold Henderson, who is hearing the appeal, could reduce the suspension

"The more that I have heard, the more I think he has a real chance to have some games knocked off the suspension," Schefter said on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike." 

So what's the logic here? According to Schefter, it sounds as if the sworn testimony that is taking place behind closed doors -- and which might eventually make its way into the public, as sworn testimony is want to do -- could influence Henderson into reducing the suspension. 

"It's the facts of the case, and again, they're coming in," Schefter said. "There is sworn testimony in this case and I'm sure some of the sworn testimony over time will emerge and everybody will get to see what has and has not been said here the last 24-48 hours and during the course of this appeal hearing."

Elliott has repeatedly denied that he did anything in the domestic violence incident that he is being suspended for, which took place back in 2016, before he was drafted by the Cowboys. He strongly disagreed with his suspension when the six games were handed down.

The running back's camp has made not-so-subtle allusions to taking the matter to a court of law should the NFL not vacate the suspension. 

Of note, when examining what might happen in this case: Henderson previously heard the appeal of former Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, who received a 10-game suspension from the league stemming from a domestic violence incident involving an ex-girlfriend. And in that matter, Henderson reduced Hardy's suspension to just four games following an appeal. That's a 60 percent reduction of a suspension in a fairly similar matter (not knowing the full scope of the evidence and testimony in either case). 

Dropping Zeke's suspension 60 percent would mean handing him either a two or three-game suspension. If that's the case, it is difficult to imagine Elliott not taking the suspension, missing games against the Giants, Broncos and Cardinals, and then moving along to try and put the incident behind him. It is also possible Elliott could want to completely clear his name -- again, he claims he did nothing wrong -- and press forward with a lawsuit regardless of the outcome. 

But right now it is looking quite possible that Elliott ends up seeing a reduced suspension once the appeals process has ended, with a ruling expected to be some time either Friday or Monday morning at the latest. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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