Safety Williams still sidelined

Vikings safety Madieu Williams, who was signed to a big free-agent deal in March, has yet to play a game for the Vikings after suffering a neck injury before even the preseason games started.

The Vikings were hoping to have safety Madieu Williams back for this week's game with the Tennessee Titans after a mysterious neck injury sidelined him since early in training camp.

That isn't going to happen. Instead of being on the practice field Wednesday, Williams remains sidelined and could be out until the Vikings have their bye week in late October. Brad Childress, who has declined almost from the start to give a timetable or discuss the specifics of Williams' neck injury (one source called it a sprained neck), quipped Wednesday that Williams is doing athletic things – just not football things.

"(Williams) was having a test today and the doctor is putting hands on him tomorrow or (later) this week," Childress said. "But I'm encouraged. Just the fact that he's moving and running and lifting and doing the things he needs to do. He's on the cross-country team now."

Williams, who signed a six-year deal for $33 million with $13 million in guarantees, continues to decline interview requests. With Williams still out, rookie Tyrell Johnson will get his fourth straight start of the year Sunday.


  • A pleasant sight in the locker room Wednesday was seeing Vinny Ciurciu walking around the room without a noticeable limp. Ciurciu, who injured his right knee Sunday, was feared to be gone for perhaps the rest of the season, but an MRI Monday showed no significant damage to the knee or the ligaments around it. He declined to discuss specifics of what the MRI showed, but was relieved, saying, "It was one of those where it looked bad, but thank God it's not as bad as they thought. You never want to be injured as a player, so to hear the good news is awesome. I'm going to rehab. It's a fight to get to Sunday."

  • In other injury news, several Vikings were limited in practice Wednesday, including Adrian Peterson (hamstring), Sidney Rice (knee), Ray Edwards (shoulder) and Chester Taylor (foot).

  • Bryant McKinnie got his next court date stemming from the assault charges filed on him in Miami that led to his four-game suspension. The next hearing date will be Nov. 18, at which time a date for trial will be established. McKinnie will return to the team on Monday.

  • Jared Allen said he got a letter from the league saying that he is no longer in the league's substance abuse program. Allen, who currently has a driver to run him around as needed, will get his driving privileges back in October.

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