Harold Henderson has been designated as the hearing officer in Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter links). This may be a good sign for Elliott as Henderson was the officer who reduced Greg Hardy’s suspension from ten games to four in 2015.
Elliott’s team is expected to try and poke holes in the story of ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson, who may have been less-than-forthcoming about one of the encounters in question. Thompson has said that Elliott was physically abusive towards her and NFL investigators are in agreement after viewing photographic evidence from the period in question. Elliott’s camp will argue that the allegations were fabricated by a scorned lover, a route that the NFL is not too pleased with:
“Over the past few days we’ve received multiple reports of the NFLPA spreading derogatory information to the media about the victim in Ezekiel Elliott’s discipline case,” the NFL said in a statement. “It’s a common tactic to attempt to disprove the innocence of the accused by discrediting the victim – in this case Ms. Thompson – when coming forward to report such abuse. Common or not, these tactics are shameful. Efforts to shame and blame victims are often what prevent people from coming forward to report violence and/or seek help in the first place.”
Elliott’s case will likely be heard on August 29th.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.