Vikings coach Brad Childress had little to say today when asked about the Fox report Sunday that Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams could face four-game suspensions for violating the NFL’s steroid policy. Most players, meanwhile, acted as if they had no idea what the media was talking about. Pat Williams was in the locker room but declined to talk about the situation.
Fox’s Jay Glazer reported that the Williamses tested positive for a banned diuretic in water pills, and that while the appeal of their suspenions was supposed to be this past week, it has been pushed back. Childress’ comments were the first on the matter because the Vikings had last week off for their bye.
“As has always been our standard here, I can’t comment on any of those league mandated things so I really can’t shed any light,” Childress said.
Childress said he has no reason to believe that the two tackles would not play Sunday against Houston at the Metrodome. Asked if he was upset that this information continues to be leaked out when the teams are told they can’t talk about it, Childress said: “I think that’s one of the mandates of the policy, that’s why I’m not talking about it. I think [attorney] David Cornwell said it the best. It’s supposed to be held in strict confidence. From the standpoint that somebody knows who shouldn’t know, I’d say that’s not good.”
Childress was then asked about the potential distraction coming out of the bye. “I’d say it’s, like our players feel, it’s a family, it’s a personal issue,” he said. “We’re not going to allow it to be a distraction. Any of it. It’s just unfortunate that, as David Cornwell said, that somebody is able to put their thumbs on the scale of, you guys have to write about it, and just the fact you write about it, puts it in the court of public opinion. Whether it’s wrong or right, you’re writing about it.”
Veteran safety Darren Sharper said he did not know too much about the situation before adding, “I don’t know too much that I can pretty much say about it. Just hope that that does not happen. I don’t know the ins-and-outs about it.”
Sharper was then told that hypothetically the loss of the tackles would be a huge blow. “I’ve learned not to speak hypothetically because a lot of times you speak hypothetically you get yourself in trouble. I don’t want to do that at this point. Let’s speak hypothetically about it after we beat Houston. Let’s talk about it then.”
Ticket update: Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer, said today there are less than 3,000 seats remaining for Sunday’s game against Houston at the Metrodome. Under NFL rules, those seats need to be sold by noon on Thursday. This game will be the second of two Vikings games that local CBS affiliate WCCO (Ch. 4) will air this season.