Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal is reporting that Judge Nelson has denied the NFL's request for a stay of the lockout while the case continues in appellate court.
Judge Nelson in NFL Lockout case: "Defendants' motion for a stay pending appeal is DENIED."
Nelson essentially agreed that the players would suffer "irreparable harm" if the lockout were to continue, and I'd be inclined to agree. Without the possibility of trades or free agency, players cannot prosper. Some players like Kevin Kolb for instance may not have the opportunity to be traded and start on another team, like most expect. Judge Nelson determined that the NFL did not prove it's case that it would suffer irreparable harm if the lockout were to be lifted.
The NFL will now ask the 8th circuit court of appeals for a stay of the injunction, but I wouldn't expect it. When the league year officially starts has yet to be confirmed or reported.
UPDATE 9:54 PM: Adam Schefter of ESPN tweets Judge Nelson ordered the league to start the new league year "immediately".
Judge ordered NFL to start its league year immediately, but said no team is obligated to sign free agents. Trades in question.
Whether or not the league obliges Judge Nelson or continues to stall remains to be seen. The NFL currently should just take it's medicine, impose rules and start the league year.