NFL Lockout: Players bracing for a stay; no football until June or July

No need for football operations if the 8th circuit court grants the NFL a stay, keeping the lockout in place until an appeal is heard in the summer.

The 8th circuit court has not made a ruling yet regarding a stay of Judge Nelson's order to lift the lockout. The request currently being considered is for a stay while an appeal on Nelson's ruling is heard. That hearing is scheduled for June 3 in St. Louis, an expedited hearing granted earlier this week by the court. 

If you believe the rumblings and whispers trickling out on Twitter this morning, it looks like a stay is coming today. Albert Breer from the NFL Network cited a source that says the players reps are bracing for the NFL to be granted its stay. If that happens, the league year would not resume until after the appeal hearing. That hearing begins in June and could take several weeks to unfold. Of course, if the court sides with the NFL on the appeal (they are not expected to do so, but anything could happen) the league year won't get underway until late June or early July. 

That means no offseason workouts until training camp. No time for players to go over the playbook with coaches, a situation that could be damaging for St. Louis Rams second-year QB Sam Bradford who is playing under a new offensive coordinator this year. I'm not as pessimistic about the effects as others though. 

To give you a sense of just how compressed things will be on this schedule...the Rams play the Bears in the Hall of Fame Game on August 7, kicking off the preseason. Training camp usually starts in the final days of July. A decision on the appeal might not happen until mid-June at the earliest. 

Nothing is confirmed until the court makes its ruling, so this is pure speculation at this point. It seems unlikely that the NFL or the players would know that decision at this point. But they will soon. 

In short, a stay would suck, really suck. Might be a good time to go weigh in on the Roger Goodell approval poll

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