Ezekiel Elliott responds to six-game suspension

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The former Ohio State Buckeye led the National Football League in rushing last season with 1,631 yards in addition to 15 touchdowns. Elliott will be eligible to return to the active roster on October 23.

It was rumoured in recent weeks that Elliott could receive a short suspension prior to the start of the season, after allegations he assaulted a former girfriend. One of his agents didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"I am both surprised and disappointed by the NFL's decision today, and I strongly disagree with the League's findings", Elliott said in the statement.

The ruling requires Elliott to get an evaluation to determine whether he needs counseling or treatment, and to show proof that he is following up on any recommendations that are made.

Goodell had the option of simply noting that Elliott was "in violation of the league's personal conduct policy". The decision came after the National Football League investigated a series of alleged domestic violence involving Elliott. The Columbus prosecutor's office declined to bring charges against Elliott in that case, citing "conflicting and inconsistent information across all incidents resulting in concern regarding the sufficiency of the evidence to support the filing of criminal charges". He can play in preseason games and practice until September 2, regardless of the outcome of the appeal. He was seen in a legal marijuana shop during the preseason in Seattle last year and was also involved in a bar fight in Dallas a week before training camp this year. He accounted for more than 33 percent of the Cowboys' total yards in his rookie season.

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