Attempts by Washington Redskins players to train at Redskins Park were rendered fruitless for a second time this week.
So far Thursday morning, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and center Casey Rabach both attempted to enter the facility but left shortly after they arrived. Defensive end Vonnie Holliday, who had served as team representative for the defunct players’ union, said he has been told Redskins Park’s doors will remain closed.
“The doors are still closed and as I understand it, they will remain closed until the appeals process is completed,” Holliday said in a phone interview.
Late Wednesday night, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson denied the league’s request for a stay of the injunction that she handed down Monday, which lifted the lockout. The owners have appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
Following Nelson’s refusal to grant a stay Wednesday night, players believed that they would be able to return to team facilities and train with strength coaches and have contact with members of the coaching staff.
So they tried to do so Thursday morning, but were denied. Alexander left after less than five minutes, and Rabach left after roughly 20 minutes. Holliday admitted a degree of surprise.
“The courts made a ruling, and you would think that would carry more weight,” Holliday said. “Guys wanted to get back to work, resume getting physical therapy at the facility and train with our strength coaches, but the doors are still locked. It’s unfortunate that they’re choosing to handle it this way.”
When reached for comment Thursday morning, Redskins executive vice president Tony Wyllie said that the NFL would be releasing a statement on behalf of its teams.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told reporters Thursday morning, “Clubs notified last night they should continue to follow the current rules and practices until otherwise advised by our office.”