SHERMAN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) A federal referee has rejected a request from Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman La’el Collins for an injunction that would have stopped his five-game suspension with one game left.
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in his ruling on Tuesday, October 12, proposed that the NFL suspend Collins in violation of the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association.
Mazzant, however, held that the arbitrator’s decision in Collins ‘appeal was based on a “reasonable construction of the parties’ agreements.”
The decision means Collins is not eligible to play Sunday in New England.
The seventh-year player may return to the team next week when the Cowboys are inactive. Collins can play again in Week 8 of Minnesota.
The NFL accused Collins of bribery in a lawsuit that opposed the request for a preliminary injunction.
Representatives of Collins have strongly denied this, saying the league misled the arbitrator by saying that Collins had been suspended for four matches because he had not done so.
Collins sued the NFL, its board of directors and commissioner Roger Goodell last week.
The lawsuit said Collins was suspended as the new employment contract signed in 2020 was no longer allowed to suspend over-forgotten tests or positive marijuana tests. The league is countered by saying Collins had a “long disciplinary history of repeat offenses.”
The suspension was announced the day after Dallas ’31-29 loss to defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay in the opening, Collins’ first game since 2019.
He missed the entire last season due to hip surgery.
Just before the start of the season four years ago, Mazzant gave star running back Ezekiel Elliott’s request for an injunction to stop a six-game suspension due to allegations of domestic violence.
This decision sparked a two-month legal saga that ended with Elliott serving the suspension.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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