At a Thursday afternoon hearing regarding whether an injunction preventing the NFL from suspending Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams (and, in turn, Saints defensive end Will Smith) for violating the steroids policy pending the appeal of Judge Gary Larson’s ruling clearing the way for the suspensions to be imposed, Judge Larson has taken the matter under advisement, requesting written briefs from the parties.
Attorney Peter Ginsberg, who represents the players, tells us that a ruling is expect by the end of next week.
It’s also possible — but hardly likely — that the NFL and the players could settle the case with an agreement not to suspend the players, if the ruling that the NFL is a joint employer of the players and that the NFL violated the Minnesota drug testing statutes is in turn wiped off the books. That way, the outcome couldn’t be used as precedent in the event the league faces similar claims in the future.
Then again, the mere fact that the ruling was issued surely will be cited by any future player who makes similar claims — or by any third party who tries to sue not only the team but also the NFL for injuries inflicted by a player.