The federal judge who lifted the NFL lockout dealt another blow to the league late Wednesday, denying its request to put her ruling on hold. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson wrote that the NFL "has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise." She dismissed the NFL's argument that it is facing irreparable harm because of her decision Monday to end the 45-day lockout.
"In short, the world of 'chaos' the NFL claims it has been thrust into -- essentially the 'free-market' system this nation otherwise willfully operates under -- is not compelled by this court's order," Nelson wrote.
The judge acknowledged that her decision will be appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis and the NFL has promised that step. There was no immediate word from the league after Nelson's decision.
The ruling means the league has no rules in place, shelved since the collective bargaining agreement ended on March 11 and the lockout was imposed shortly afterward.