Williams Wall still waiting

A report on Fox Sports nearly a month ago said that Pat and Kevin Williams could be suspended four games. Four weeks later, the only related news on the matter is that other NFL players continue to file suit against the makers of the diet pill StarCaps, the alleged culprit in the report.

Another week and still no word on the status of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams in relation to their alleged positive tests for the banned substance Bumetanide.

A wave of panic washed over Vikings fans last month when it was reported by FOX Sports' Jay Glazer that the Williamses were among eight players that tested positive for Bumetanide, which has been linked to masking the use of steroids. In the past, fans have learned about the positive tests only after the league has announced a suspension or handed down a penalty that players can appeal. This time, the news leaked early and may have provided an insight into the process involved in handing down suspensions or hearing appeals.

The positive tests are believed to have come during training camp and the culprit has been a product called StarCaps. The team at the center of the controversy has been the New Orleans Saints, whose players have fought back angrily, ranging from running back Deuce McAllister saying he checked out the product with someone in the organization (which is apparently a league no-no in itself) and got the all-clear to offensive lineman Jamar Nesbit filing a lawsuit against the company for misleading product information – StarCaps did not list Bumentanide as an ingredient.

Just this week, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson joined the fold of NFL players filing suit against the makers of StarCaps, seeking money for potential lost wages if he is suspended by the league. Jackson's case is reportedly under appeal with no date set to hear his case.

The NFL takes its drug policy very seriously and is vehement about keeping its program confidential. The confidentiality portion of the agreement was blown out of the water by the FOX Sports report and the entire process is being thrown into the light, as the investigation process drags on.

There has been speculation that, due to the misleading packaging of the product, that the players may avoid the wrath of the NFL drug police, but there is also the school of thought that maintains the NFL has a no-tolerance policy and players are responsible for what they put in their bodies – whether knowingly or not.

If/when suspensions do come down, they will likely happen early in the week of preparation for the next opponent so the team will have time to make the needed adjustments. Clearly, that doesn't appear as though it will happen this week. And the beat goes on.

FRIDAY NOTES

  • Madieu Williams and Jared Allen remain the only players on the Vikings injury list heading into Sunday. Williams, who injured his shoulder during special-teams drills on Wednesday, was added to the injury report and remained limited in participation Thursday. Allen, who is still recovering from an AC joint sprain, was also limited, but is expected to play.

  • The Vikings have yet to make a roster move to replace Charles Gordon, who broke his ankle returning a punt in Sunday's win over Green Bay.

  • Former Viking Michael Bennett, claimed off waivers by San Diego in what most believe was a move designed simply to prevent him from being claimed by running back-starved division leading Denver, has essentially confirmed that he is merely a pawn in a battle between two rival teams. Reports out of San Diego say that Bennett hasn't joined the team yet and likely won't until Sunday, where he is fully expected to be inactive for the Chargers' game with Pittsburgh.

  • The vultures are already circling around parsimonious Lions head coach Rod Marinelli, whose team remains winless just two weeks from Thanksgiving and, depending on the outcome of games this week, could be officially eliminated from division title contention after just 10 games. Rumors circulating in Detroit have it that former Vikings offensive coordinator and Ravens head coach Brian Billick might be in the running to replace Marinelli after the season.

  • As if the Lions problems on the field aren't bad enough, their dismal record has made it all but impossible to sell out Ford Field, which has resulted in the last two home games being blacked out and the rest of them expected to follow suit. Then again, maybe not seeing the Lions play isn't such a bad thing.

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