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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
BBAO: Lions players might stay away

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

We're entering the Wild West portion of our Lockout'11 offseason, the part when players of at least some teams plan to show up for work Tuesday morning after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ordered the lockout lifted. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, players will be treated courteously if they show up but the NFL has instructed teams not to open their weight rooms or engage in any contract discussions.

Not every team will face that uncomfortable situation, however. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Detroit Lions player representative Kyle Vanden Bosch is advising teammates to "hold tight" and not report until the situation is more structured. As of early Tuesday morning, the league was still trying to come up with a plan for how to conduct business while its attorneys seek a stay to resume the lockout while they appeal Nelson's verdict. For players, showing up for work would trigger workout bonuses that can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.

ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson called Monday's ruling "a critical win for the players" and suggests they are well on their way to permanently overcoming the owners' lockout tactic. If that's the case, we could soon be headed toward the resumption of the NFL offseason under rules imposed by the owners.

As it turns out, the Minnesota Vikings had previously scheduled a news conference Tuesday afternoon with vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier to discuss that little draft thing I hear is coming up. I'll be sure to head over there and give you a sense for what at least one NFL facility is like on this potential day of chaos.

Continuing around the NFC North: