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Around the NFL: The latest on Ezekiel Elliot's appeal & how to beat the Patriots

Here's a look at stories from around the NFL on Friday, Sept. 1.

1. A new twist in the Ezekiel Elliot suspension. 

The NFL players' union sued the NFL Thursday night over the suspension given to Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot, claiming the league "hid information that was favorable to Elliott" prior to commissioner Roger Goodell's ruling. In court documents, Elliot called it a "league-orchestrated conspiracy."

Elliot, who finished second in Rookie of the Year voting last season to teammate Dak Prescott, was hit with a six-game suspension as a result of a domestic violence incident involving an ex-girlfriend more than a year ago.

[BN] Blitz newsletter: What to know for Friday, Sept. 1

The Dallas Morning News spoke with a legal expert Friday who described Elliot's appeal as "even more favorable for the player than Deflategate was for Tom Brady," who initially had his four-game suspension overturned, only to be reinstated a year later by the 2nd U.S. District Court of Appeals (full DeflateGate timeline).

It seems there is a chance Elliot could have his suspension reduced or eliminated altogether. This would also be big news for fantasy football players, as Elliot was a top pick before the suspension.

2. Le'Veon Bell reports to the Steelers. 

Bell, another star running back, reported to practice Friday after skipping all of training camp because he and the team couldn't agree on a contract extension.

Bell is set to make over $12 million this season under the franchise tag. He was hoping for a long-term deal worth significantly more.

3. Cuts have begun. 

Saturday is the big day for NFL cutdowns this year, but some teams got a head start Friday.

ProFootballTalk has cut trackers up for the AFC and NFC. Notable names so far include Cardinals running back Chris Johnson, Dolphins punter Matt Darr, Broncos running back Stevan Ridley and 49ers QB Matt Barkley. The Bills made a few minor cuts as well.

4. Bengals WR John Ross got injured. 

Ross, the ninth-overall pick in the 2017 draft, suffered a knee sprain in Thursday's preseason finale. It was the same knee on which he suffered an ACL injury in college, but the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Ross won't need surgery.

Ross is expected to be out at least several weeks.

5. How do you beat the Patriots?

Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit examined that question in a piece this week, looking at how the Texans defense attacked Tom Brady & Co. during last season's playoffs.

Benoit focuses on Houston's use of a five-man defensive front, which Bill Belichick says originated with Buddy Ryan, father of former Bills coaches Rex and Rob. The Texans call their front "diamond."

"Not only did the Texans force the Patriots to pass-block one-on-one, they also got to dictate those matchups," Benoit wrote.

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