Less than 12 hours after NFL teams reopened their doors to players in response to a preliminary injunction that lifted the 6-week-old lockout, those doors are closed once again.

A three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Friday night granted the NFL's request for a temporary stay of an injunction by Federal District Court Judge Susan Nelson that lifted the lockout Monday.

NFL vice president of communications Greg Aiello said Friday night that teams "have been told that the prior lockout rules are reinstated effective immediately."

The appellate court did not decide whether to keep the stay in place while it considers whether to overturn Nelson's injunction. That will be a separate decision that could come as soon as next week.

If the appeals court doesn't extend the stay, the league will resume operations. The league had been expected to open the free-agency signing period and allow trades of players in the coming days, perhaps as early as Monday. But Friday night's decision puts those plans on hold.

Two of the three judges from the Eighth Circuit voted to grant the stay. A third, Kermit Bye, dissented.

"The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the motion for a stay pending appeal," the court's decision read.

In dissenting, Bye said he found no need for the stay because the league failed to show why this represented an "emergency situation."

"Because I expect our court will be resolving the actual request for a stay in short order, I see little practical need for granting an emergency temporary stay in this non-emergency situation," Bye wrote.

Bye also said in his dissent that the NFL did not demonstrate that there would be "irreparable harm" by not granting the stay.

Attorney Jim Quinn, who is representing 10 players suing the NFL on antitrust grounds, called the ruling "totally expected and routine. The only thing unexpected was that Judge Bye was so reluctant to give them even a short stay because [the NFL] can't show any injury from having to comply with the nation's antitrust laws like everyone else in America."

NFL fans appear to be growing frustrated with the back-and-forth nature of the labor dispute, and showed that displeasure during the first two nights of the draft. When commissioner Roger Goodell greeted fans at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, he was booed loudly. Each time he walked to the podium to announce the first-round picks, he was booed again.

And Friday night, there were more boos.

"It's the fans' frustration," Goodell said Friday morning on a conference call with Jets fans. "I hear it directly from them. They want football. I want football. That was a clear indication of me not being able to solve that . That's my responsibility, and I accept it."

Players began returning to team facilities early Friday to work out, get playbooks and meet with coaches. Those who wanted to work out were required to provide proof of their own medical insurance, given that the NFL no longer is providing insurance after the NFL Players Association's decision to decertify as a union last month.

Jets receiver Braylon Edwards, scheduled to become a free agent, put it simply on Twitter: "Looks like we're unemployed again."

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