Staff and wire reports
NEW ORLEANS – The NFL Players Association has asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order that would allow players suspended in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation to rejoin their teams in time to play regular season openers.
The union, which filed the motion Tuesday on behalf of New Orleans defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita, and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, argues the players will suffer irreparable harm if they are forced to miss games while their case against the league proceeds.
Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma had already filed a similar motion when his full-season suspension began earlier. The other three players' suspensions began this week.
The union also petitioned the court regarding oral arguments for the temporary restraining order, claiming "the Court will not need any additional evidence or argument, beyond what is submitted with its motion, in light of extensive evidence and numerous submissions in the record,” according to court documents.
If the court decides to hear oral arguments, the union wants to present them Friday, before the start of the regular NFL season for the players.
The players ultimately want their suspensions thrown out because they argue the disciplinary process was fundamentally flawed and unfair.