The judges acknowledged criticisms of the deal, originally struck in 2013, but found it to be for the greater good of all retired N.F.L. players.
The N.F.L. and retired players passed a major milestone on Monday when the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit here unambiguously upheld a district court’s approval of a settlement that could give players with severe neurological conditions as much as $5 million each. The decision will make it much harder for the several dozen players who objected to the deal to continue appealing the case.