Attorneys for Jonathan Vilma, who has sued separately, and NFLPA lawyers representing the three other punished players have argued Goodell showed improper bias with comments he made before sending the players notice of their suspensions on May 2.
Attorneys for the players have been given until Friday to file their own evidence and briefs on the matter.
Vilma's consolidated lawsuits include a defamation claim against Goodell. Vilma's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, has argued Goodell made reckless and false statements about Vilma being the ringleader of a bounty program that offered cash for injuring targeted opponents.
Vilma has asked U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan to grant a temporary restraining order that would allow him to return to the Saints while his case proceeds, and the judge has said she would be inclined to rule in his favor, but will hold off until she is comfortable she has jurisdiction to do so.
Berrigan has indicated that she might prefer to see how separate proceedings called for in the league's collective bargaining agreement play out.
Saints defensive end Will Smith has been suspended for the first four regular-season games and is currently participating in training camp. Two former Saints who are still active also were suspended: Green Bay defensive end Anthony Hargrove was penalized eight games and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita three games.
* Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is hopeful that he will be ready to play in the season opener in 3 weeks. Witten is dealing with a lacerated spleen sustained in the preseason opener.
"Obviously I would be hard pressed thinking I am not out there for the Giants game," Witten said. Again, there is no timetable."
The seven-time Pro Bowler got hurt in the preseason opener Monday night when he got hit after he caught a pass.
* The NFL says San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Garrett Brown has been suspended without pay for the team's first four regular-season games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
* The Houston Texans signed left tackle Duane Brown to a new contract. The 6-year contract is worth $53.4 million, with $22.08 million guaranteed, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said on condition of anonymity because terms have not been released by the team.
* Less than 3 weeks before the season kicks off, the NFL and the NFL Referees Association are no closer to an agreement to end the lockout of the officials. As replacement officials work preseason games - and generally get criticized for their performances - the league and officials disputed such issues as full-time employees and adding officiating crews.
On Sept. 5, the Cowboys visit the Giants to open the season. Not since 2001 has the NFL played games that count in the standings with replacement officials, and that was for 1 week. This lockout began June 3.
The NFL is offering to add three full officiating crews, increasing the total number of officials to 140.
* Linebacker D.J. Williams was excused from the Denver Broncos' practice for personal reasons, a day after being convicted on two charges in a Denver court. Williams was found guilty Wednesday of driving while ability-impaired and driving without his headlights, the offense that prompted police to stop him near downtown Denver about 3 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2010.
Already facing a six-game drug suspension to start the season, Williams is subject to further punishment from the NFL because of his conviction on the impaired driving charge. The league said it will review the matter.
* St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford says speculation he might need offseason ankle surgery is off-base.
"That would be news to me," Bradford said after practice. "To be honest, I'm tired of talking about the ankle. Until it causes me to miss reps or miss time, it's a non-issue."