StarTribune.com

Williams expects to play in opener

April 8th, 2009 – 12:39 PM by Chip Scoggins

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams said today that he remains confident he will win his court case against the NFL and thus be allowed to play in the season opener.

Kevin and Pat Williams have a June 15 trial date in their case involving the use of a banned diuretic that resulted in four-game suspensions. The players received an injunction that allowed them to finish last season. If they lose their case, the suspensions would take effect at the start of this coming season.

“They set the date and whatever comes out of that, comes out of that,” Kevin Williams said. “But our mindframe is we’ll be ready when the season kicks off.”

“I just hope the right thing is done,” he added. “That’s all we can do. We’ll take it from there.”

– Vikings coach Brad Childress had no new update on contract talks with Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield, who is entering the final season on his current deal. Winfield is taking part in the offseason program and Childress said he had lunch with Winfield on Monday.

– Childress opened the door for right tackle Ryan Cook to get some work at center this offseason and training camp. Cook, however, said he has not heard about that possibility from any coaches. Cook, who lost his starting job last season, said he would be willing to try center.

– Several Vikings defensive players talked about the trade that sent Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to the Bears. Here was linebacker Ben Leber’s take:

“It’s obviously a need they needed to fill,” he said. “It was such a weird situation going down in Denver. Somebody was bound to get him. I think it’s good for them. They obviously improved that part of their team. We’ll see what happens. I played him a couple of times and know what type of quarterback he is. We’ll have to get after him.

“He’s definitely more of a mobile guy. He’s brimming with confidence. We’ll have to go in there and try and rattle him. I’ve seen some games where he can get rattled. We’re going to try take that same approach. Get him rattled and try and contain him because he can do some stuff with his feet. … He’s a good quarterback. I don’t know if I would have given up all those picks for him. But it’s a good thing I’m not a GM.”

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