The NFL lockout has been lifted by a U.S. District Judge in Minnesota, the NFL confirmed on Monday night.
Judge Susan Richard Nelson, a U.S. District Judge out of Minnesota, at the request of the NFL Players who have filed suit against the league in court in Minneapolis.
According to the league's website, NFL.com, the league will appeal the decision to get the lockout reinstated, and will do so in the Eighth Circuit.
It is unclear when the league would have to reopen its doors to players and resume normal workouts and offseason transactions, much of which would be pending the owner's appeal. However in her ruling, according to NFL.com, Judge Nelson didn't grant an immediate stay on the ruling, which means the possibility exists that the league could have to open for business immediately.
At 6:45 P.M., the NFL released this statement on it's website.
"We will promptly seek a stay from Judge Nelson pending an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals." said the league in the statement. "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."
This injunction to stop the lockout, which Judge Nelson ruled on Monday, was filed along with the Anti-Trust lawsuit on March 11th, shortly before the lockout began. The case, named "Brady et. al vs NFL", includes Colts quarterback Peyton Manning as a plaintiff.
Monday's development is another in the long saga of the NFL Labor negotitions, which broked down in early March and is the reason for the lockouts.
Players and owners are debating the number of games, the amount of the nine billion dollars of revenue to be shared between the owners and players, along with benefits for retired players.
The lockout could effect the 2011 season which includes Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In a conference call to Cleveland Browns fans last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that a plan is in place in the circle city in case the Super Bowl would be delayed a week or two due to a lockout.