The New Orleans Saints 2011 preseason opponents have been known for nearly near a month, but now the dates and times of the games have been released, with at least on of the contests to be aired nationally.
On August 12th at 7 pm the Saints will play host to the San Francisco 49ers, and then will travel to take on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on Saturday August 20th once again at 7 pm.
The third preseason game will be televised nationally on NBC when the Saints play their second consequtive road game against the Oakland Raiders at the newly named Overstock.com Coliseum on August 28 at 7 pm.
Finally the Saints will end up at home to finish the preseason against the Tennessee Titans on Septembers 1st at 7 pm. From there the season should start the following week, barring a lockout or some sort or work stoppage, when they open the regular season against the current Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers Septembe 8th.
Some sort of decision was expected to be made today, at least partially, by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on the status of the NFL’s current lockout after they issued a temporary stay on Judge Nelson’s ruling to block the lockout on April 29th.
Nelson ruled in favor of the players and awarded them an immediate, yet temporay injunction on April 26th, that effectively blocked the lockout on the grounds it was causing irreparable financial harm to the players and employess connected to the NFL and it’s daily operations.
The NFL as expected filed an immediate appeal with the 8th Circut Court, seeking to overturn Nelson’s ruling by citing the Norris-LaGuardia Act, using legial precidence to declare that and injunction cannot block a lockout, among other reasons.
For now the lockout will continue leaving existing players, and newly drafte rookies, in a state of limbo. In the Saints case at least quarterback Drew Brees is keeping the team working, so far, through the lockout.