The Dallas Cowboys have made it official, running back Ezekiel Elliott will play on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
On Friday, the Cowboys removed Elliott from the reserve/exempt list, per team writer Rob Phillips.
Elliott returned to practice for the Cowboys on Wednesday after serving a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The suspension was issued by the NFL after a year-long investigation into domestic abuse accusations against him from his ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. The Columbus, Ohio prosecutor declined to press charges against Elliott in 2016.
After a lengthy battle against the NFL in court, Elliott and the NFLPA elected to stop the appeals process, and withdraw a lawsuit against the league in mid-November. Elliott began serving his suspension during Week 10.
Prior to his suspension, Elliott had rushed for 783 yards and 7 touchdowns, and had also shown significant improvement as a pass catcher. During his rookie season he caught 32 passes for 363 yards and a touchdown. In eight games this season, he has 19 receptions for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns.
However, his return is far from a guarantee that the Cowboys will make the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. Even if they defeat the Seahawks on Sunday, and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17, they will still need help from the Detroit Lions and the NFC South in order clinch a postseason berth.