Judge rules in favor of NFL players; appeal expected

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Judge rules in favor of NFL players; appeal expected

By TomE. Curran
CSNNE.comThe NFL isn't open for regular business again. But it's getting closer. Late Monday, Judge Susan Nelson grantedNFL players an injunction to stop the NFL's six-week lockout.In essence, the lockout's been lifted. And Nelson didn't grant a "stay" of her decision meaning that - as far asher ruling is concerned - business opens back up immediately. The NFL iscurrentlyworking to get the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to grant the stay that Nelson didn't. If the appeals court doesn't order a stay, free agency would begin immediately (most likely under the 2010 rules) and players would be okay to return to work and have contact with their coaches. The ruling by Nelson was expected. The only surprise is that there was no stay granted, meaning that chaos - just three days before the 2011 NFL draft - could loom. "I have no idea where this leaves us tonight, tomorrow,where this leaves us in the next 10 minutes or thenext 10 days," said Pete Kendall, a longtime NFL player who was at the forefront of mediation between the players and owners. "We'll see how quickly theEighth Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the stay."Kendall is pretty sure the owners are well-prepared for whatever is currently occuring though. "I don't think it's necessarily the Wild, Wild West," he cautioned. "The owners' representatives have considered every possible contingency. There's little doubt in my mind that they considered this contingency and have a plan for what just transpired. I'm sure they have rules that they will try and implementfor how this season plays out." Kendall noted that this is big for the players, though. "I think it's great news for the players, I think it's great news for the fans," he said. "If the court of appeals upholds Judge Nelson's decision, it seems to me we're all but ensured a football season." Tom E. Curran canbe reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran