Only one player, Erin Henderson, showed up at Winter Park, and he stayed only a few minutes as the team remained shut down.
Erin Henderson pulled into Winter Park on Tuesday morning, hoping to get some cold tub therapy inside the Vikings facility. Less than 40 minutes later, the linebacker left the building after a brief conversation with coach Leslie Frazier on a bizarre day around the NFL.
The NFL operated in a state of limbo a day after a ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson blocked the lockout, thus opening the doors for players to return to their facilities, if only briefly and under weird circumstances.
The NFL is seeking relief from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis as it tries to get a stay on the lockout until the appeals process is complete. Many expect the appeals court will grant that motion. Nelson also could issue a stay Wednesday.
At a predraft news conference Tuesday, Vikings officials said they are proceeding with business as usual under terms of the lockout until informed otherwise by the league.
"We're still in lockout mode and that's where we are," Frazier said. "Everything is like it was 24 hours ago for us as coaches and as an organization. So nothing really has changed in that regard as far as our communication with our players and what we can and can't do -- other than the fact that guys are able to come in the building. But that's the extent of it."
Frazier said Henderson was the only player who showed up at Winter Park. Henderson did not work out or use any equipment, and spent little time inside the building.
"They have a couple more rules and regulations they are trying to figure out before they start letting people actually train and work out," Henderson said. "I just have to wait a little bit longer until they get everything sorted out."
Rick Spielman, vice president of player personnel, said everything is "status quo" in terms of how to proceed.
"We have not heard anything different and not been instructed by the NFL on anything different than what it's been from a business standpoint," he said. "So we'll continue to abide by all of those rules."
Much of the uncertainty revolves around what would happen if a stay of Nelson's ruling is not granted. The league would be open in that scenario, meaning teams must prepare for free agency and other business. Some reports have suggested the league could use the 2010 rules for free agency, making six years the threshold for players to become unrestricted free agents.
The league said it needs a few days to sort things out as teams and players await word on how to proceed.
Spielman was asked how prepared the Vikings are for free agency in case it starts in the next few days.
"It'll be tough to take them out to dinner Thursday night if that would happen," Spielman said. "But our free agency board and everything is already set. I think that it would be pretty difficult to have free agency going on the same time as the draft, but we've talked about that with our ownership and what would we do if that happened. So we've looked at every way, every shape, every form that could potentially come down and hit us and then how would we handle that and we've discussed that and have a plan in action for every one of those phases."
Spielman said teams can talk about trading draft picks but not players. Teams were prohibited from negotiating with their own free agents during the lockout. But now that the lockout has been lifted?
"I don't want to get into all the lawyer stuff because I'm not a lawyer and I'm going to take direction from what the league says and right now everything ... we were put in a status quo situation," Spielman said. "We're just going along with what the league is telling us to do."
Asked if he's confident all 32 teams will follow those guidelines, Spielman said: "I can't answer that on the 31 teams. I know the Minnesota Vikings are going to stay far away from that bright line and are going to follow the rules accordingly and we're not going to go anywhere near trying to do something that is not right."
|Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick||2||FINAL|
|Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann||5|
|Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman||10||FINAL|
|Toronto - LP: S. Nolin||6|
|Minnesota - LP: S. Deduno||0||FINAL|
|Detroit - WP: A. Sanchez||6|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: S. Feldman||4||FINAL|
|Cincinnati - WP: B. Arroyo||7|
|Cleveland - LP: J. Masterson||1||FINAL|
|Boston - WP: J. Lackey||8|
|NY Yankees - WP: D. Phelps||9||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: R. Hernandez||4|
|Pittsburgh - LP: A. Burnett||1||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: M. Estrada||2|
|Miami - LP: R. Webb||3||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - WP: N. Jones||4|
|LA Angels - WP: J. Vargas||5||FINAL|
|Kansas City - LP: L. Hochevar||2|
|Oakland - WP: P. Neshek||6||FINAL|
|Houston - LP: J. Veras||5|
|San Diego - LP: E. Stults||2||FINAL|
|Arizona - WP: B. McCarthy||5|
|St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn||7||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - LP: C. Capuano||0|
|Texas - WP: J. Grimm||9||FINAL|
|Seattle - LP: J. Saunders||5|
|Colorado - WP: T. Chatwood||5||FINAL|
|San Francisco - LP: T. Lincecum||0|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|