The Vikings have made the return of DT Kevin Williams from a two-game suspension official.
He’s been added to the team’s 53-man roster.
To make room for Williams, the Vikings waived DE Adrian Awasom.
Tags: Adrian Awasom, Kevin Williams
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The return of Kevin Williams to the lineup from a two-game suspension is a big deal for the Vikings defense. He’s a 6-time Pro Bowler and the defense now has a playmaker in the middle of the defensive line for whom opposing offenses will have to account on a play-by-play basis.
But Williams’ return goes beyond just having another playmaker on the field. With Williams back in the fold, the Vikings defensive line instantly becomes deeper, and the Vikings defensive coaches have more flexibility in their scheme, playcalling and rotation options.
For example, Remi Ayodele and Letroy Guion have been the starters at DT in Williams’ absence. With Williams back in the lineup, the Vikings can keep both Ayodele and Guion fresh by rotating their snaps. Then you have rookie Christian Ballard, who has the position flexibility to play both DE and DT. Early on he’s been playing primarily DT, but with Williams back and Ayodele and Guion potentially rotating at DT, perhaps Ballard gets more time at DE?
Those are just two examples of how Williams’ return positively impacts the Vikings ability and depth along the defensive line. Now, the key is for the Vikings to execute whatever strategy they employ.
Tags: Christian Ballard, Kevin Williams, Letroy Guion, Remi Ayodele
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The bad news is the Vikings are off to a 0-2 start on the young season and they haven’t had perennial Pro Bowler Kevin Williams at DT to try and stop the bleeding. The good news, though, is Williams’ suspension is over and he’s returned to the team.
Williams was back at Winter Park for the first time in two weeks and he’ll begin preparations along with his teammates for this weekend’s NFC North showdown with the red-hot Detroit Lions. Williams met with reporters at his locker on Monday and, as mild-mannered as Williams is, you could tell he was anxious to be back around the team.
“I was here on my couch, yelling at the screen,” Williams said when asked where he’s spent the past two weeks.
The suspension meant Williams was unable to play the first two weeks, but he was also prohibited from being at Winter Park and interacting with players and coaches. Williams said he set up independent treatment for his injured foot and also worked out on his own at Lifetime Fitness.
“I’m in pretty good shape,” Williams said. “I’m ready to play a game. I know it’s going to be a different feeling when those pads get on, but I think as far as conditioning-wise I feel good. The wind will probably get cut short a little bit with the pads strapped around you, but it’ll take a few plays to get a second wind and it’ll be fine.”
Williams is a true professional, so there should be no concern about him coming back in good shape. The one issue to watch is his injured foot. Williams says he’s about as close to 100% as he can be at this time of year and he also indicated confidence that he’ll be able to play through any pain that comes as a result of the injury.
“I’m definitely going to play,” Williams said. “Sitting at home two weeks was bad enough; the foot ain’t gonna stop me.”
Tags: Kevin Williams
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