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NFL Reacts To Williamses Ruling

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 11, 2009 – 4:38 pm

The case involving Vikings DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams and their possible suspension arising from a violation of league policy has gotten plenty of pub over the past several months. And that only continued today (Friday), as it was ruled by a U.S. Court of Appeals that the Williams Wall will not be suspended in 2009.

We’ve already posted reaction from Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress and Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe addressed the issue during his live chat with fans today on vikings.com.

Now the NFL has also responded; click here to read a statement from the league. Thanks to Tim Yotter of Viking Update for pointing it out to us.


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Vikings Mum On Berrian’s Availability For Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 11, 2009 – 3:54 pm

Vikings speedy WR Bernard Berrian injured his hamstring during the team’s 1st preseason game and hasn’t been back to full speed since. He’s progressively worked his way back from the injury and was finally able to practice for a full week with his teammates leading up to this weekend’s season opener in Cleveland.

But while he was able to participate in practice this week, he was limited all week and his status on the latest injury report still leaves a question as to what his availability will be on Sunday against the Browns. Specifically, Berrian was listed as a limited participant today and his status for the game is questionable, which means there is a 50-50 chance he’ll play.

“He’s progressing, still,” Childress said. “This is his first full week of practice so he’s getting up to speed. But I wouldn’t say he is a 100 percent guy right now. You don’t miss three weeks and be 100 percent.”

Asked if there was a chance he’d hold Berrian out, Childress said: “I will consult with him and the medical people about that. That will be kind of the litmus.

“We will just have to see. We got a walk through tomorrow. We just have to see, I’m not sure if it will clear itsself up tomorrow or clear itsself up at game time. We will just have to listen to his body.”

At this point, it probably is hard for the team or Berrian to know if the player will suit up on Sunday. Hamstring injuries can be temperamental, plus the team and Berrian will have to balance the value of pushing through the injury and playing on Sunday against the value of resting one more week and giving it an opportunity to get to 100% before going back onto the field in a game situation.

Either way, it serves the Vikings no advantage to declare a decision now, no matter how many times the question is asked or how many times the question is re-phrased. Especially if a decision made today could very well be reversed on game day.


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Childress Reacts To Williamses News

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 11, 2009 – 3:38 pm

Earlier on Friday it was reported that Vikings DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams would not be suspended during the 2009 season.

One person who is happy to hear the latest developments is Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress, who has been asked weekly over the past several months about the pending status of his 2 Pro Bowl linemen.

“Well, I am excited for Pat and Kevin,” Childress told reporters today after practice. “For the time being, they can put that behind them. We have always respected the legal system and knew it was squarely in their hands. It was an unknown and now it’s a known and looking forward not looking backward.”


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Reports: Williamses Cleared To Play In 2009

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 11, 2009 – 11:17 am

According to multiple published reports, including both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune, Vikings DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams will not be suspended this season after testing positive for a banned substance last year.

Today’s ruling came from a 3-judge panel with the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, who upheld  District Judge Paul Magnuson’s decision allowing the players to sue the NFL in state court for violating Minnesota state laws pertaining to workplace drug testing.

We will have more details on this development when they become available. The Vikings have not released a formal announcement.


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Chat With Shiancoe Today

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 11, 2009 – 10:39 am

Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe will be on vikings.com around 2:00 today to chat with fans. Join us to chat with Shiancoe, as he and his teammates prepare to open the season this weekend at Cleveland.

Shiancoe always adds an interesting perspective and he’ll surely have things to share about QB Brett Favre, the Cleveland Browns, his Twitter page, last night’s Steelers-Titans game and the 2009 season.

Click here around at around 2:00 today to participate in the chat.


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2009 NFL Season Officially Underway

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 11, 2009 – 7:48 am

With the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10 win over the Tennessee Titans last night, the 2009 NFL season has officially lifted off. Pittsburgh was able to use their stingy defense, some timely playmaking by QB Ben Roethlisberger and a raucous home crowd to fend off a pesky Titans team in overtime.

Not to get too overdramatic here, but last night’s game had a big-time feel to it (I hesitate to say “playoff feel” since it’s just Week 1), mostly because the game featured 2 big-time defenses, Roethlisberger’s adept playmaking, hard hits, solid officiating and plenty of late-game drama.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the Steelers opening their season at home, don’t worry. The Vikings travel to Pittsburgh on October 25 for a Week 7 showdown, one week after hosting another nasty AFC North team – the Baltimore Ravens. To that end, there was a development in last night’s game that could impact the Vikings.

Steelers All-Pro S Troy Polamalu injured his knee and head coach Mike Tomlin classified it as an MCL sprain, speculating that the hard-hitting, playmaking defender could be out anywhere from 3-6 weeks. It’s likely that Polamalu will not be out for the maximum length of time as he recovers from his injury - he’s too much of a gamer for that. But, if the prognosis Polamalu receives today from doctors is slightly worse than what Tomlin said it could be, there’s a chance he’ll miss the game on October 25.

I certainly hope Polamalu can return as quickly as possible. It’s unfortunate when any player is injured and it’s better for the sport when its stars are in the lineup. But there might be a few people in the locker room down the hall from me who wouldn’t mind not having to deal with Polamalu in the Steelers secondary on the last Sunday in October.


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