One of the NFL's brightest young stars -- and a former Ohio State Buckeye -- is slated to miss a significant portion of the 2017 season. The NFL announced on Friday that it has suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott without pay for the first six games of the 2017 campaign for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
The No. 4 overall pick of the 2016 draft, Elliott earned All-Pro honors as a rookie, rushing for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. His first season in the NFL, however, wasn't without controversy as an ex-girlfriend of Elliott's accused the former standout of domestic violence last summer.
Although no charges were filed against Elliott, the NFL had been conducting its own nearly year-long investigation into the Cowboys running back for multiple incidents -- including the domestic violence accusations -- leading up to Friday's announcement. In 2014, the NFL introduced a new domestic violence policy that included a six-game suspension for first-time offenders.
"League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott," the NFL said in a statement. "The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications."
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Elliott is expected to appeal the NFL's ruling.