It’s still too early in the investigation regarding the injuries inflicted on Delicia Cordon to know whether the proof will ever point to Bills running back LeSean McCoy as being in any way responsible for them. And before the situation ever would get to the point where there would be enough proof to convict McCoy of a crime, there could be enough proof to result in the placement of McCoy on the Commissioner Exempt List.

The league has broad power to suspend a player with pay. It can happen when the player is formally charged with a crime of violence. It also can happen when an NFL investigation “leads the Commissioner to believe” that a crime of violence may have been committed. If the Commissioner simply believe McCoy “may” have been responsible for the injuries, the Commissioner “may act where the circumstances and evidence warrant doing so.” And here’s the key point: “This decision will not reflect a finding of guilt or innocence and will not be guided by the same legal standards and considerations that would apply in a criminal trial.”

In other words, the NFL will do whatever it thinks it needs to do. Recent history tells us that the decision will be influenced largely by P.R. considerations. Given the vicious nature of the attack on Cordon and the graphic photos that have been made public, the NFL may feel compelled to keep McCoy off the field unless and until he is fully exonerated by the justice system, or until the NFL decides whether he did or didn’t do it under the league’s much lower standard of proof.