The NFL is being forced to get back to business—for now, at least.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson denied a request from the NFL to issue a stay of her ruling that declared the lockout illegal. Judge Nelson had declared on Monday that the NFL was in violation of antitrust agreements and ordered it to end the lockout immediately.
The NFL then released a statement saying that it plans to appeal Judge Nelson’s decision and her refusal of their subsequent request to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. The court could make a decision about the stay within the next few days; a ruling on the appeal will likely take two months. The NFL has to prove that it has a “strong likelihood of winning” and that it will be “irreparably harmed” by the ruling in order to get the stay.
Until then, the NFL will have to resume some of it regular activities in preparation for the upcoming season. Starting at 8 am on Friday, teams will be allowed to use club facilities, coaches can distribute and discuss gamebooks and other materials with players, and NFL mini-camps can begin.
The statement doesn’t include any guidelines for player transactions, but says that it plans to distribute a “comprehensive set of procedures” on the subject to clubs on Friday.