Vikings coach Brad Childress said today “he doesn’t know about” whether defensive tackles Kevin or Pat Williams has gone to court today to seek an injunction to continue playing. The Williamses were suspended for four-games apiece on Tuesday for using a diuretic that can serve as a masking agent for steroids. Legal action is expected because the Williamses, and four other players who were suspended Tuesday, claim the league did not inform them that a banned-product known as bumetanide were in pills known as StarCaps.
Childress has said little about the situation since the news broke that the Williamses faced suspensions in late October. “It really doesn’t matter what my thoughts are,” Childres said. “It is what it is and we’re standing right here in the now and right now we don’t have them.”
Asked if he was disappointed his players had taken the pills in an effort to cut weight and stay in shape, Childress said: “Those guys do a good job of keeping themselves in shape and when you say resort to staying in shape that’s not something that you stay in shape with. I’ll leave it at that. Those guys do a good job of taking care of their bodies.”
The Williamses were not at Winter Park on Wednesday and at this point aren’t eligible to return until Dec. 29, the day after the Vikings’ regular-season finale against the New York Giants. Childress confirmed that Fred Evans will take over for Pat Williams at nose tackle and veteran Ellis Wyms will slide into the 3-technique spot. But Childress also said the team will look outside for help and bring in some players.
“We spent a lot of time on people of interest last night,” Childress said. “I got involved when they had it kind of widdled down and looked at a bunch of tapes. That’s an ever changing area, the personnel area. Whether people are getting hurt and acquiring people that are on the street and on people’s practice squads. Those things are in flux all the time but [the personnel department] certainly been looking at it for a long time.”
The depth of the defensive line hasn’t only been affected by the suspensions. Childress confirmed that versatile lineman Brian Robison had arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday. While Childress would not rule Robison out for Sunday’s game at Detroit, people with knowledge of the situation have said he won’t be able to play and could miss more than one game.
Among the players the Vikings could look at are Jimmy Kennedy, the 12th overall pick in the 2003 draft by St. Louis, who was recently released by Jacksonville, and Leger Douzable, who went to training camp with the Vikings and is now on the New York Giants practice squad.
Linebacker Ben Leber, asked for his reaction to the Williamses suspension, said: “I feel terrible for them. I know they’re hurting right now emotionally in their hearts because I know they want to be here. They probably feel like they let a lot of people down. I just want them to know that we have their backs and we trust and support them.”