The Dallas Cowboys' worst nightmare heading in to this season came true on Friday afternoon when running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended six games by the league for violating its personal conduct policy. This suspension stems from the ongoing investigation in to his ex-girlfriend's claim that he physically abused her. The incident allegedly took place in Columbus, Ohio over a year ago, although the city's Attorney's Office announced last September that they would not press charges against the running back. That has led the former Ohio State Buckeye to claim that he "strongly disagrees" with the league's decision in a recent statement on social media. He does plan to appeal the ban, which that announcement expects to become official on Monday. He has three business days to file the appeal, with a hearing being scheduled within 10 days of the notice. For now though, Elliott's suspension is expected to begin on September 2nd, with him being eligible to return on October 23rd. That means his first taste of action would not come until Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.
Bills Deal Watkins, Acquire Matthews in Separate Deals
The Buffalo Bills were busy on Friday with two notable trades just one day after their first taste of pre-season action. First, the Bills dealt wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a sixth-round pick in next year's draft to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick next year. A deal involving Watkins has been talked about between the two teams since Buffalo declined the wideout's fifth-year option on his contract last May. Rams general manager Les Snead called Watkins a "complementary piece" as he joins former Bills teammate Robert Woods in the receivers' corps. The former Clemson Tiger has struggled with injuries since being drafted in 2014, as he had a total of 153 receptions for 2,459 yards, and 17 touchdowns in his time with the Bills. Buffalo also found a replacement in their group of receivers that same day, as they acquired wide receiver Jordan Matthews from the Philadelphia Eagles. They sent cornerback Ronald Darby the other way in the deal. Matthews was also selected in the 2014 draft, but has a bit more production behind him than Watkins. He ranks first with 225 receptions and third with 2,673 receiving yards among Eagles in their first three seasons. He is also one of five players in NFL history with 65-plus receptions and 800-plus receiving yards in each of his first three seasons. Matthews is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Meanwhile, the Eagles got a productive young player on the defensive side of the ball. Darby was projected as the Bills' top cornerback and finished second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2015. He has two years remaining on his current deal, which gives the Eagles time to figure out how he fits in their defensive scheme.
Yankees Rally to Snap Red Sox Win Streak
The Boston Red Sox looked to be well on their way to adding to their AL East lead by extending their win streak on Friday night, but the New York Yankees had something to say about that. New York was shut out for most of the night before scoring five runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by a long ball from Aaron Hicks, for a 5-4 win over the Red Sox. The victory snaps Boston's win streak at eight games, as they pull their division deficit back to 3.5 games. Yankees' starter Jaime Garcia struggled after allowing home runs to Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi to give the Bosox a 3-0 lead. Eduardo Rodriguez was looking good on the mound for the first-place Sox, as he allowed just two hits over six innings against the "Bronx Bombers." Matt Barnes was able to shut them down in the seventh inning to extend their bullpen's scoreless streak to 19 innings before the Yankees' rally. Didi Gregorious, Todd Frazier, and Ronald Torreyes all drove in runs during the eighth inning to give New York the lead. Boston would then load the bases in the ninth, but Eduardo Nunez getting thrown out at third base on Benintendi's sacrifice fly stopped the comeback one run short. The series continues on with two more games, as this fierce AL East rivalry continues produce fireworks.