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Judge Nelson rules to lift the NFL lockout

The gavel has finally fallen in the NFLPA's lawsuit against the NFL, and it has fallen in favor of the players. Judge Susan Nelson has granted the players' request for an injunction to lift the NFL lockout.  She also ruled that she will impose the injunction without a stay, which means the only hope the NFL has to locking the players out again is to file — and subsequently win — an appeal that stays the injunction.

The league will more than likely file their appeal soon to prevent free-agency from happening, but whether they get the stay remains to be seen.  But as far as we know right now, the NFL is back in business and we will have football this year. The fate of the near-future in the NFL rests on the shoulders of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, that's the league's last hope to be granted a stay.

Zach will be by tomorrow to better explain the situation and offer up his analysis.

Make the jump to see the NFL's official response.

The NFL office has released the following statement regarding Monday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson.

We will promptly seek a stay from Judge Nelson pending an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes. We are confident that the Eighth Circuit will agree. But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal.