A ruling in the NFL appeal of the injunction that was put into place by Judge Nelson to end the lockout was expected either Wednesday or today. Over the course of the day Tuesday, most were expecting the ruling to come down. The NFLPA* (not technically a union) in the morning was bracing itself for a full stay, meaning the lockout would continue being in effect.
However, the ruling never came then there were other rumors going on. The Clerk of the Court came out and stated that, rather than rule to keep the stay in place until the court date on June 3 when the case will be heard, that the court may simply not make a ruling, which would mean the same thing as if they had ruled to stay it.
If this is the case, the court is simply dropping the ball. Not being a lawyer myself, I can't necessarily make an educated guess as to whether the judges should grant or not the full stay, but to not rule at all is basically saying that you don't want to make the decision. It is almost as if to say that to grant a full stay would be inappropriate based on the merits, but that to avoid ruling for the players, they just ignore it.
If there is no ruling or a full stay is granted, it pushes the lockout timetable to around July. The sides would be heard in June and then the ruling would come. If the stay is not made full, the lockout ends and we are guaranteed to have football, including training camp and the preseason as normal, but simply without a labor agreement in place. This would likely mean that the 2010 rules would be in effect or the league could create new ones.
There is still some small hope, even is the court grants the full stay. Mandated mediation resumes May 16. If things go well, they could get a deal into place and thus start off the new NFL year with new guidelines that both sides agree to.
In general, regardless of whose side you are on with this topic, we are hoping that there is no stay. No stay means football will happen. It does not mean that it will be good for the league in terms of financials. It means that we will see football.
So here's hoping the court does the responsible thing and lift the temporary stay, thus starting the NFL year and helping us not miss Sunday football.