More than a dozen Tennessee Titans players visited the team’s practice facility at Baptist Sports Park on Friday.
They won’t be back anytime soon.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the NFL’s request for a stay on the lockout, which was lifted on Monday by a federal judge.
The 45-day lockout briefly came to a close on Friday — after the owners request for a stay to the injunction was denied by the same judge — when teams across the league opened their gates and doors and allowed players and coaches to interact for the first time in nearly two months.
“[Friday] was a positive day in that regards,” Titans head coach Mike Munchak said. “It was nice having the guys in and being able to see some of the guys that are in town and get a chance to meet some of the coaches and get with [strength and conditioning coach] Steve Watterson. We’ll just have to wait and see how this thing unfolds over the weekend.”
Munchak was told the lockout was back on during a press conference Friday night after the Titans picked defensive end/linebacker Akeem Ayers of UCLA in the second round of the draft.
That was news to Munchak and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, who started laughing when the lockout was mentioned.
“Thanks for the news,” Munchak said. “I’m lucky I didn’t call anybody I guess. Maybe it will flip back [and the lockout will end], I don’t know. Obviously it is disappointing for us. We were hoping to get something worked out. Obviously, as coaches, we just want to get to work and get the players in the building and get going forward.”
The Titans’ first pick of the draft, quarterback Jake Locker from the University of Washington, was at Baptist Sports Park on Friday for an introductory press conference.
Ayers will be in Nashville to meet the media on Saturday. Team officials may have contact with their selections until the draft concludes on Saturday.
The Titans met with players, including safety Michael Griffin, tight end Jared Cook and guard Jake Scott who stopped by and officials even passed out playbooks.
“It is very helpful,” Munchak said. “Obviously, you want to be able to do that. Again, that is a little overrated. Guys aren’t going to be home studying their book for the next couple of months. It is nice to be able to break the ice, especially with some of these guys. We have to assume we get the opportunity soon.”