The saga of StarCaps and the appealed suspensions of Pat and Kevin Williams could be over as early as today if the NFL decides to drop the suspensions. If the league upholds the suspensions, the case could drag into further legal proceedings.
One way or another, we will likely know a lot more about the short-term future of Pat Williams
and Kevin Williams
It is expected that the NFL will render its ruling on the potential four-game suspensions before the teams in question begin practicing and installing a game plan for the following week, which would either be today – typically a player's off day – or early tomorrow.
There are also reports that the players could seek relief in the court system to get an injunction that would delay the suspensions on the grounds that the league was aware that StarCaps contained Bumetanide and did not inform the players or the union of their discovery. The packaging on StarCaps did not include the banned substance.
The arguments on both sides of the issue make sense and have their own validity, but, unlike the league's drug policy that has been negotiated with the players association, the steroids policy comes directly from the commissioner's office and some contend it is extremely simple – a player is responsible for anything that goes into his body. An honest mistake isn't an excuse under that sort of policy.
The Vikings will have to scramble if the ruling doesn't come down in their favor.
Say what you want about the Metrodome, but it has seen more than its share of history. The building has hosted the longest pass play in NFL history (Bernard Berrian Sunday night), the longest run (99 yards by Tony Dorsett) and the longest play (a 109-yard missed field goal return by Antonio Cromartie last year).
In the first meeting with the Bears this season, the Vikings allowed tight ends Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark to catch nine passes for 133 yards. On Sunday, they caught just two passes for 16 yards.
Ryan Cook graded out pretty well in his return to the starting lineup, but Brad Childress said at his Monday press conference that the job remains with Artis Hicks when he returns from an elbow injury.
Green Bay fans and front office types are cheering for Brett Favre to have success with the Jets this season. The conditional fourth-round pick received has already become a third-rounder due to playing time incentives. He has also reached the time needed (70 percent) for the pick to be a second-rounder – which it will become if the Jets make the playoffs.
The Giants' pending decision on Plaxico Burress could impact how the team approaches the final regular-season game with the Vikings. There are many who believe Burress has played his last game with the Giants, who might be more prone to sit some of their stars with home field wrapped up. With Jared Allen gaining a reputation as someone who injures quarterbacks, the Giants may want to rest Eli Manning and sore-kneed Brandon Jacobs.
It's unclear why the NFL made its announcement so early, but it announced Monday that next year's game in England will feature the Buccaneers and Patriots. There is no word yet which team will lose out of a home game for the good of international games.