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Court allows lockout to go on

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  July 8, 2011 10:49 AM

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With NFL owners and players getting closer to a new labor agreement, an important court ruling has come down.

The question now is will it derail the negotiations?

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals today vacated the ruling of a Minnesota district court that granted a preliminary injunction blocking the owner's lockout.

We're still reading through the decision. But on first glance while it certainly gives owners an advantage because it allows them to continue the lockout, neither side will be thrilled with the decision.

The court basically kicked the decision back to the district court for it to take further steps if it wanted to grant the injunction.

The ruling also says that owners can't lock out players that aren't under contract, veterans and rookies.

What this means for free agency and the state of negotiations, we'll have to see.

It's certainly curious timing since a deal within the next week seems to be within reach, according to sources.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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