The hearing is the first in what will be a series of legal clashes as owners and players each seek a decisive judgment that could tilt the negotiating field in their favor.
If an injunction blocks the lockout, free agency and games could go forward, and owners would be forced to impose rules governing a season without a collective bargaining agreement. The rules would likely be similar to last season's, with no salary cap or floor and six years of service required for players to become unrestricted free agents, according to the Washington Post. In that scenario, the players could keep playing and getting paid while also suing the owners under antitrust laws, putting the players in a strong negotiating position.
On the other hand, if the NFL can make the lockout stand - by either defeating the request for an injunction, or proving their claim that the union's decertification is a "sham" - the players will face a fall without pay, adding to owners' leverage.
In either case, one side would gain an upper hand and perhaps force the other into concessions that could end the stalemate.
Whenever talks resume, an 18-game season is off the table, according to the NFL Players Association.
"Eighteen games is not going to happen," NFLPA president Kevin Mawae said Monday.
Mawae was on a conference call intended to counter days of league assertions that the players walked away with a reasonable compromise within reach.
"The perception is that we were really, really close. The reality is we really weren't," said NFLPA spokesman George Atallah.
Draft boycott? The NFLPA had no comment on an ESPN report that the union is encouraging top prospects to not attend the NFL draft in April.
Another Vick endorsement. Michael Vick has landed another endorsement deal, pitching a performance wristband. The Eagles quarterback signed with Lutte Licensing Group, maker and distributor of Core Synergy, a titanium-infused silicone wristband.
No layoffs yet. An Eagles spokesman said on Monday that the team has not taken any action regarding its employees due to the lockout.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JonathanTamari
This article contains information from the Associated Press.