But with Rice likely to miss Sunday night's game against Washington because of a sprained ankle, it appears nearly certain Williamson will be in uniform for the first time since Nov. 25 against the New York Giants.
Williamson suffered a concussion in that game and missed the next two because he continued to experience headaches. But the seventh-overall pick in the 2005 draft was cleared to play against the Bears. Nonetheless, he found himself watching from the sideline.
This was due in part to the fact the Vikings like Allison's ability on kickoff returns. That is a role Williamson held before getting hurt. Allison has averaged 30.9 yards on 15 returns; Williamson has averaged 22.8 yards on 17 returns.
There is no doubt this has been a tough season for Williamson. Although he did work with specialists for Nike during the offseason to try to help him become a better receiver, Williamson has only 13 receptions for 201 yards and a touchdown in nine games.
Off the field things haven't been easy.
He became the center of attention for a few days when it was revealed the Vikings were going to dock him a paycheck after he missed a game following the death of his grandmother. The team backed off on that unpopular decision but nonetheless it brought Williamson unwanted attention.
Williamson also had to deal with the fact his older brother was in a car accident in September that put him in the hospital for several months. Williamson said Thursday his brother is getting better; the receiver also said if he gets a chance to get on the field Sunday he plans to make the most of the opportunity.
"I'm ready to go," Williamson said. "We have worked, me and (quarterback Tarvaris Jackson), getting the timing down during the week. We just feel really good and it's just time to go play."