Minneapolis A Minnesota judge extended his injunction against the suspension of five players for violating the NFL’s anti-doping policy on Thursday, clearing the way for them to play at least the next two weeks.
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson suggested the league and the players try to work out the dispute themselves. Barring that, Magnuson said he would hold an evidentiary hearing and asked both parties to propose a schedule by Dec. 22 to file pleadings.
Kevin Williams and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings and Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints were suspended last week for four games each. They tested positive for a banned diuretic in the dietary supplement StarCaps.
Magnuson issued his initial injunction Dec. 5 after hearing arguments from the league and the NFL Players Association. That move came two days after a Minnesota state court judge had issued a restraining order in a lawsuit brought by the Vikings players.
“The NFLPA has demonstrated that it is entitled to preliminary injunctive relief to preserve the status quo so that the Court can entertain a hearing on the merits of this complicated and contentious matter,” Magnuson wrote.
The union has argued the NFL didn’t properly inform players about what it knew about the product. The NFL’s attorneys argued that claim, and others, had been considered and rejected in a process set out by the league’s collective bargaining agreement.