Green Bay Packers fans might be breathing a sigh of relief just about now – at least a little bit of relief with the news that Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended today for six weeks of the regular season without pay.
You see, the Packers will travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys in Week 5, and will be playing the team with which they struggled against last year with Elliott running wild.
The Packers lost in their regular season matchup in Green Bay and the Packers barely beat the Cowboys in the Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs last January.
Without Elliott in the lineup when the two teams meet again this season, the task just became a bit easier.
Elliott, the second-year running back phenom, caught the suspension from the NFL this morning. Elliott received a letter from the league offices that described the allegations of domestic violence toward his former girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. The letter not only spelled out the suspension, but also indicated that he could face discipline for future occurrences.
Elliott has three days to appeal the suspension, a move he has already made.
However, if the suspension is upheld, Elliott wouldn’t be allowed to return to the field until Week 8 when the Cowboys play the Redskins. The Cowboys have a Week 6 bye.
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Elliott, who lined up against the Packers twice last year, the first time in Week 6 and the final time in that Packers playoff win in Dallas, pretty much had his way with the Packers defense.
It’s not a given that Elliott would play as well against the Packers in 2017 as this is a different season, but not having him on the field helps tilt it toward the Packers – even if that Week 5 game is being played in Dallas.
Though Elliott didn’t reach the end zone in that first meeting, a 30-16 butt whacking by the Cowboys at Lambeau Field, he rushed 28 times for 157 yards.
In the playoff game, Elliott ran 22 times for 125 yards. Again, the Packers kept him out of the end zone.
To take away a player who averaged 25 carries and 130-plus yards in two outings last year should be a relief for the Packers, should Elliott’s suspension be upheld and the Cowboys are without their best running back in Week 5.
But before we start partying too much, Packers fans have to be mindful that should both teams reach the playoffs again this year, the likelihood that Green Bay will have to meet Elliott again is high.
The only way the Packers and their fans breathe a realistic sigh of relief is to find a way to stop this guy. Like Adrian Peterson, who for so long terrorized the Packers, Green Bay must find ways to contain him in all future meetings.
This is one game where the Packers won’t have to face him, but there will be others in which they will have to find ways to contain him.
Enjoy the break in Week 5 this year, but future suspensions or injuries notwithstanding, Green Bay will have to face this guy in the future.
But for now, enjoy the break.