MINNEAPOLIS (CBSMiami) – The chance that the Miami Dolphins will be playing this football season may have improved late Monday afternoon, after a federal judge in Minneapolis ruled in favor of the NFL Players Association and lifted the lockout by the NFL owners.

Federal Judge Susan Nelson ruled in the Brady v NFL case, and, as expected ruled in favor of the players.

The owners were seeking an immediate stay, but NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported that Nelson declined.

The next step is for the owners to seek a stay from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in St. Louis. If the appeal is granted, the lockout will remain in effect until a decision is reached

If the appeal is not granted, free agency could begin soon.