Hours after NFL players reported to work for the first time in nearly two months, the league announced late Friday the lockout would resume immediately, thanks to an appeals court ruling in the league’s favor.
The move capped a chaotic week that began with U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson lifting the 45-day lockout on Monday. She denied the NFL’s appeal on Wednesday and the league took halting steps toward getting back to football Friday.
Then the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis granted the NFL’s request for a temporary stay of Nelson’s injunction order. The appeals court is expected to rule next week on the NFL’s request for a more permanent stay that would last through its appeal of the injunction, a process expected to take 6-8 weeks.
The NFL didn’t have to wait that long to resume the lockout, and the announcement came right after the third round of the NFL draft had ended.Teams “have been told that the prior lockout rules are reinstated effective immediately,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press.
This all came on the day players were allowed to return to their teams’ facilities for the first time since March. Players wore smiles as they met with coaches, worked out and got a peek at their playbooks, a welcome return to normalcy in an offseason that has been anything but that.