Here's how Ezekiel Elliott could get completely banished from the NFL

From left to right Los Angeles FC head coach Bob Bradley actor Will Ferrell Los Angeles FC designated player Carlos Vela and LAFC lead managing owner Larry Berg pose at an MLS soccer news conference in Los Angeles Friday Aug. 11 2017. (Walt Mancini

In a statement released late Friday night, Elliott said he was "surprised and disappointed" with the NFL's ruling and that he "strongly" disagrees with the investigation's findings.

Ezekiel Elliott posted a statement Friday evening in which he apologized for causing "distraction and disruption". The NFL looked into the case, but couldn't come to any conclusions.

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.

In addition, Elliott will give up $240,000 per missed game in signing-bonus money if the suspension is upheld. The NFL's domestic violence policy even notes that a second domestic violence incident will result in "banishment" from the league, with the possibility of applying for reinstatement after one year.

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The NFL, though, still has the authority to punish players under its personal conduct policy.

The league, however, said there was "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Elliott had physical confrontations last summer with his then-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. The league cited photographs, medical information and thousands of electronic messages as evidence to back its decision to suspend Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing in 2016.

Elliott will be appealing the suspension and will have the full support of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones throughout the process.

The second-year running back is coming off a sensational rookie season in which he rushed for a Cowboys-rookie-record 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to his first career Pro Bowl selection.

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