The Vikings are left to look toward their reserves and possibly sign some free agents after the suspensions of Pat and Kevin Williams were upheld. In the NFL, it's the next man up.
The big question being asked around by Vikings fans the morning after the suspensions of Pat Williams
and Kevin Williams
is a pretty simple one – now what?
The NFL backed its steroids policy with four-game suspensions for six players Tuesday, including both members of the Williams Wall. While an injunction may be filed this morning in U.S. District Court to potentially prevent the suspensions from taking effect immediately, that is by no means guaranteed and the early thinking is that the Vikings could be without their two Pro Bowl defensive tackles for the next four games.
The team issued a statement, saying it was disappointed in the NFL with the suspensions, but beyond that has said little about the suspensions since they were initially announced more than a month ago. But it is clear there had to be plans in place for being without the Williamses. Topping that list is the new starting tandem of Fred Evans
and Ellis Wyms
, along with backups Otis Grigsby
and Letroy Guion
, if the injunctions aren't successful. It is unclear whether the Vikings have made any arrangements to sign a veteran free agent that may be sitting around, but it is a safe bet that they have scoured other teams' practice squads for young talent they can raid.
The outcome was a worst-case scenario for the Vikings, but you have to believe it was expected and that the team will have a plan heading forward. We'll likely find out exactly what that entails over the next few days.
The Vikings had been using Brian Robison at defensive tackle occasionally in pass-rush situations, but he won't be able to help out the defensive front either Sunday. The Star Tribune reported that Robison had arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss a few weeks.
The Vikings could make as many as three roster moves today. Neither of the Williamses counts against the 53-man roster while they are serving their suspensions, and Robison might be put on injured reserve if it is believed he won't play in the final four games of the regular season.
Jared Allen became the third Viking to win a conference Player of the Week award, joining Adrian Peterson and Antoine Winfield.
Rumors around the college football water cooler is that Vikings quarterback coach Kevin Rogers is a frontrunner on a short list to be the new head coach at Syracuse.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, along with players Bobby Wade and Bernard Berrian, donated $200,000 from the NFL's Grassroots grant program toward the installation of FieldTurf at the Heritage Sports Center in Duluth. The donation benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Linebacker Rufus Alexander was claimed off the Vikings practice squad by Indianapolis Tuesday, leaving another roster vacancy.