Judge Sandra Nelson in Minneapolis has granted an injunction which would allow the NFL players currently locked out to resume regular activities.
The NFL is expected to appeal the decision but for the time being the league is going to be forced to operate under the old system rules.
The owners locked out the players on March 11 and the legal battle has been an ugly blame game in Minneapolis ever since. This most event development means players can return to team facilities to work out. This is key to injured players who were locked out and kept away from equipment that can aid their rehab.
The NFL and the NFLPA will still have to work out a new CBA but with the judges order coming down, it’s a minor victory for the NFLPA. It will also temporarily ease the debate about what the incoming rookie class should do regarding the upcoming draft.
The case is still pending appeal however, which should have a decision on it handed down Tuesday. If the NFL doesn’t hear what they want to, they will bring the case in front of the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. If both of these courts rule the same way, the NFL will have to put rules in place that will allow players to resume regular offseason activity and it would allow free agency to begin.
It’s a step in a productive direction and football is close to returning. The question then become whether or not the fans are ready to forgive both sides for threatening a season without football.