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The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted a motion Tuesday asking for an expedited briefing schedule in the NFL’s appeal of the Tom Brady lawsuit decision, all but ensuring that the appeal won’t be finalized before the Super Bowl in February.

According to the motion granted, the appeal will be heard as early as the week of Feb. 1, 2016, but potentially later. The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., and in all likelihood the lawsuit would not be heard before then if Brady and the Patriots are playing in the game.

Per the schedule, the NFL’s opening brief is due Oct. 26, the NFL Players Association’s answering brief is due Dec. 7, and the NFL’s reply brief is due Dec. 21.


The NFL requested the expedited schedule, and the NFLPA did not oppose it. The NFL is appealing the decision by US district judge Richard Berman to vacate Brady’s four-game suspension on the grounds that the NFL violated Brady’s rights as constituted by the collective bargaining agreement.

Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin