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Report: Owners get stay of injunction, lockout back on

DeMaurice Smith

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2010 file photo, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks in St Paul, Minn. The NFL Players Association has turned to Congress for help in preventing an owners’ lockout next season, drafting letters for lawmakers to send to the league and holding a briefing for members of Congress and their aides on the economic impact of a labor dispute, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig, File)


Although NFL players were being welcomed back to team facilities this morning because of Judge Susan Nelson’s injunction to end the lockout, that is changing this afternoon.

ESPN is reporting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has granted a temporary stay of the injunction and reinstated the lockout, meaning players will now be told to hit the road, and doors to team facilities are being locked this afternoon.

Michael Silver of Yahoo reported this afternoon that NFL players were bracing for a ruling from the Court of Appeals that would give the owners an “administrative” stay, meaning the lockout would be back on at least through the weekend.

Then, as soon as Monday, the Eighth Circuit will hear the players’ argument against a stay. At that point, the lockout could remain on, or the players could be let back in, depending on the Eighth Circuit’s ruling. And either way, it would just be temporary until the appeals court makes a decision on the owners’ appeal of Judge Nelson’s ruling.

So just hours after players were let back into team facilities this morning, they’ll now be told that they’re no longer welcome this afternoon. And we’ll all wait until Monday to see what the appeals court does next.

UPDATE: ESPN has now retracted its report that the stay was already granted, although a stay is expected.