While it continues to hope the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will grant a stay of Judge Susan Nelson’s injunction, the NFL on Thursday issued guidelines for teams on when and how to resume football operations with the lockout lifted. According to a league news release, effective 8 am ET on Friday, players will have access to team facilities, playbooks, game film and coaching staffs. Off-season workout programs such as OTAs and minicamps may begin as well.
The release also says that the league will inform teams, likely Friday, of more plans “with respect to player transactions (such as signings, trades of player contracts, terminations, tryouts, etc.)” and “the timing for the commencement of the 2011 League Year, free agent signings and other customary player transactions.”
The 8th Circuit Court gave the players until 9 am ET on Friday to respond to the league’s request for a stay of Nelson’s injunction pending the NFL’s appeal. The NFL will have until Monday morning to respond to the players’ response. So it appears, unless the court issues some sort of temporary stay Thursday, that the NFL will open for business again Friday — at least for a couple of days.
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