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Vikings might have Williamses for 16 games after all

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Posted May 21, 2010 @ 12:41 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Although nothing is final yet, it's becoming more likely that Vikings DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams will be free from being suspended for the season's first four games after a failed drug test from 2008 that has lingered in appeals for more than 18 months. They could be suspended at a later date, but the odds are that it will not come this season. This is good news for the Vikings, who are staring at a tough — but not overly daunting — opening quartet of games: at New Orleans, home against Miami and Detroit, and then at the Jets. The Saints featured the league's best offense last season, and the Dolphins and Jets are strong running teams. Vaulting Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy into the starting lineup in place of the Williamses not only would have taken two talented defenders off the field but also strained the depth, which is thin. Kennedy especially stood out in a reserve role last season, and he'll have a chance to play a good amount with Pat Williams likely in his final season prior to retirement. It's likely that DEs Brian Robison and rookie Everson Griffen, given their size, could be asked to kick inside on passing downs. It's a role Robison is familiar with, having done it the past few seasons. DT Letroy Guion, who has done little to date, will be expected to show something in order to join the rotation, especially if the Williamses are not suspended.


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